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Full text of "1st to 11th Annual Report of the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Commission (1900-1911)"

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No. 65. 



State Reservation Commission. 

January, 1901 


18 Post Office Square. 



Cnmmnntoealtlj nf ||lassacljusrtts. 


The Wachusett ^Mountain State Reservation Commission, 
created under section 1 of chapter 378, Acts of 1899, hereby 
submits its first annual report. 

The commission was created on July 5, 1899, the object 
being to acquire for a State resei-^'ation the property known 
as AVachusett Mountain, as well as other adjacent property 
which should be deemed desirable in order to carry out the 
intent of the Commonwealth to provide a fitting and credit- 
able public park for the free use of its inhabitants. 

Your commissioners assumed their duties without unneces- 
sary delay, and proceeded to make proper surveys and plans 
of the mountain property and such other lands as by virtue 
of their location were in the opinion of the Board necessary 
and desirable to form a natural or reasonable boundary to 
the mountain base. These surveys were carefully made 
under the supervision of Mr. Harold Parker, one of the 
Board of Commissioners, the work being performed by Mr. 
Guy H. Chase and his assistants. Great care was necessary 
in making the same, requiring considerable time and re- 
search, but early in January of the present year they were 
completed to the satisfaction of your commissioners. 

The titles to the property finally purchased were then ex- 
amined and approved, and on April 17, 1900, the property 
known as the TTachusett Mountain, containing approxi- 
mately 533 acres, bounded and described as shown by plan 
accompanying this report, was purchased of the Beaman 
heirs by your commissioners, in behalf of the Commonwealth, 
for the sum of $20,060. This purchase included the moun- 



tain proper with the exception of a ravine situated upon the 
southerly side of same, which in the opinion of your com- 
missioners was very desirable, forming, as it did, a pleasing 
and attractive feature in the contemplated park system, and 
w^hich, if not included within our present boundaries, would 
leave an objectionable encroachment upon same in the hands 
of private individuals. The ravine referred to was the prop- 
erty of Samuel F. Mason and Thomas H. Russell, and has 
been taken by your commissioners under the authority 
granted by chapter 378 of the Acts of the year 1899. This 
taking increased the area of the reservation to 563.51 acres. 

The above-named properties represent all that has been 
acquired. Since the purchase of the same many improve- 
ments have been made, which are fnlly set forth in the re- 
port of the superintendent, attached hereto, and to which 
reference is respectfully made. 

The accompanying plan and profile show the grades and 
alignment of the mountain road. Special attention is di- 
rected to that portion of the road known as the " Ox Bow," 
which is in some respects the most dangerous portion of the 
roadway. Plans are under consideration for overcoming the 
extreme curve at this point, but they have not sufficiently 
matured to admit of a report at this time. 

Too much importance cannot be attached to the necessity 
for early action in the direction of securing several tracts 
adjoining the mountain, and which form a natural part of 
a perfect park system, before their beauty and desirability 
for park purposes are destroyed by cutting off the trees now 
standing thereon. Still stronger arguments for early ac-. 
tion are presented by the fact that much of the present 
reservation is approachable only by passing over private 
property, which it is the desire of your commissioners to 
acquire. Reference to the appended report of the superin- 
tendent, together with the accompanying map, on a scale of 
600 feet to the inch, showing the present holding of the State 
and the relation of the property embraced in the limits, of 
the reservation to the roads and outljdng properties, indi- 
cates clearly the defects in the present reservation boun- 
daries, and points out the fact that but 890 feet out of a total 


WachusE-TT Mountain State: Relseftvat 

Plan AND Profi le 

OF the 

Mountain Road. 


1901.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 5 

of 23,553 feet of reservation base boundary line is accessible 
to the public except by trespass upon private property. 

The purchase of these private properties will greatly en- 
hance the value of the park system for public uses, and give 
easy access and exit at various points ; while in its present 
condition practically but one means of entrance or exit over 
the property of the Commonwealth exists. 

The wisdom of the State in purchasing the mountain for 
a park adapted to the purposes of recreation and pleasure 
has been fully demonstrated, and the appreciation of the 
people proved by their abundant use of their privileges. 
The presence of hundreds of people daily on the mountain 
during the summer and early fall is ample proof of the value 
of a place of such natural interest and beauty for a park. It 
is already approachable from some of the surrounding country 
by one electric railroad, and another is projected from a 
different direction, so that its advantages can be availed of 
by a still larger number from now on. It certainly is essen- 
tial, in order that this may be enjoyed without temptation to 
trespass on adjoining ground, that the present domain of the 
State should be extended. 

Much damage was caused by the ice storm in Xovem- 
ber of the present year, by which the trees and shrubbery 
suffered severely. The decayed wood, superfluous spent 
growth, annual wind and ice storms and other natural forces 
are operating to devastate the woods ; and, unless checked 
by a systematic plan for removing all undesirable accumula- 
tions and protecting as far as possible the desirable gro^i:h 
upon the mountain sides, its attractiveness as a park is liable 
in time to become lost. 

Your commissioners have endeavored to present only the 
most important needs of the reservation in this their initial 
report, believing that their first aim should be, in the best 
interests of the Commonwealth, to acquire such land as would 
seem indispensable to complete a park system, and next 
to take steps to preserve and improve the growth and 
beauty of the same and provide the necessary facilities for 
its public use with pleasure and safety. 

Not the least important step to be taken in this direction 


is the placing of the mountain roadway in as safe a condition 
as possible ; and particular attention is directed to that por- 
tion of the report of the superintendent recommending that 
crushed stone be employed to accomplish this, and thus 
avoid much of the expense now created, and which will be 
incurred annually hereafter, if the road remains as now con- 

For the purpose of acquiring the adjoining properties 
deemed necessary for perfecting the reservation limits, and 
placing the roadway in a safe and economical condition, 
your commissioners estimate that the sum of $25,000 will 
be required, and we therefore respectfully ask for the ap- 
propriation of that amount for the purposes named. 

Respectfully submitted, 



1901.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 7 


state appropriation, $25,000 00 


Algernon T. Beaman and Harry C. Beaman, 

paid for Wachusett Mountain, . . . $20,060 00 

Engineering pay roll, 1,650 47 

Engineering expenses, 658 72 

Repairs on buildings, 249 75 

Tools and equipment, 432 32 

Legal expenses, 575 00 

23,626 26 

Unexpended balance, 

"Mason and Russell " taking, of 30i acres, unpaid. 

$1,373 74 



To the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Commission. 

In accordance with your instructions, I have the honor to 
report to the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Com- 
mission the work which has been accomplished, and also to 
offer suggestions as to the future line of work and needs of 
the commission, as observed in our daily work. These sug- 
gestions are made after a careful study of the habits, desires 
and requirements of the visiting public, and also with a view 
of having the work done in the most economical manner, with 
a well-defined policy in view. 

On Nov. 7, 1899, your superintendent, who was then em- 
ployed by the commission in the capacity of engineer, with 
two assistants began a survey for the commission, the object 
of which was two-fold : first, to survey the land proposed to 
be taken by the commission in its first taking under the first 
appropriation of the General Court; second, to survey a 
large traverse, including in its boundaries all lands that may 
be needed to enlarge the reservation under further appro- 
priations, and to enable the commission to have all surveys 
of different takings referred to the same base. 

Wachusett Mountain proper is surrounded by town or 
country roads, and these roads were used for the above- 
mentioned traverse. The distance around the mountain by 
these roads is about 8 miles. 

The initial point of the survey was a triangulation station 
on the summit of Mount Wachusett, and is used by the 
United States Coast and Geodetic Survey and the Massachu- 
setts Topographical Survey; and from this point a most 
careful survey was made, as stated above, the error being 
but %4000. 



1901.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 9 

The survey of the first taking was then made. It included 
lands of Algernon T. Beaman and Harry C. Beaman, 533.4 
acres; of Thomas H. Kussell, 10.03 acres; of land supposed 
to be of one Samuel F. Mason, 20.08 acres ; making an ag- 
gregate of 563.51 acres in Taking No. 1, all of which land 
consists of timber, wood and sprout growth. 

A map was then platted, showing all the lands within and 
adjacent to the road traverse, also showing the principal 
features of the territory included in the survey, namely, 
principal buildings, streams, ponds, trails, farm and property 
lines. Large stone monuments were secured to mark the 
corners permanently. 

This work was finished on April 30, 1900, and on May 1 
I assumed the duties of superintendent of the reservation. 

At this time the road to the summit was in a wretched 
condition, the surface dirt having been all washed away, 
leaving the bed of the road extremely rough and rocky. It 
not being practicable at that time to secure gravel, we had 
to resort to what dirt could be scraped from between the 
rocks, and a few small pockets of clayey gravel and loam. 
The dirt on the mountain consists largely of leaf mould or 
loam, about 1,300 loads of which were put on the road, which 
made a very- fair road, owing to the almost perfect drainage 
of the rock bottom. However, after each rain the road had 
to be carefully gone over, wash-outs refilled and stones 
raked out. Contrary to expectations, the road lasted through- 
out the season ; but here I will say that it is a very expensive 
kind of road, inasmuch as it cost $476.55 to put it in con- 
dition at the beginning of the past season, and in all proba- 
bility it will cost as much, if not more, each season, as the 
material, always scarce, is all the time becoming more so, and 
the pits where dirt is secured are unsightly places. I would 
recommend a good crushed stone road as a necessity and an 

The stone monuments before referred to, 32 in number, 
were distributed and set, making permanent corners of 
Taking No. 1. The old trails up the mountain had gradu- 
ally become disused, excepting the Mountain House Trail," 
and even that was largely grown over with underbrush. 


These trails were all cleared and new trails located, the brush 
being piled ready for burning at the proper season. These 
trails are not only convenient as walks and short cuts on the 
mountain, which are now used by a great many people, but 
are valuable as fire guards. Many more are to be cut, and 
the danger of a disastrous fire thereby reduced. 

As fiist as trails are cut they are located and platted on the 
map and levels taken, and eventually we will be able to issue 
a guide sheet giving distances and elevations, thus encourag- 
ing the public to seek out diflferent parts of the reservation. 

Every precaution against fire has been taken, the rules and 
regulations governing the use of the reservation expressly 
forbidding fire in any form within its limits. 

In cutting trails, if it appears that an extended view may 
be obtained at any point by judicious cutting of trees and 
shrubs, that work is done. Several beautiful panoramas 
have in that way been made visible. 

Early in the spring it was found necessary to make repairs 
to the roof, consequently a contract for a tin roofing for the 
main part of the hotel was let to Mr. F. S. Potter of Fitch- 
burg for the sum of $220.13. While this efiectually stopped 
the leak as far as the repairs went, we have since discovered 
that the rain beats in round the sides of the observatory. 
These will have to be tinned before another season. The 
ell of the hotel is entirely beyond repair, also the out-build- 
ings. The old bowling alley is in a state of dilapidation, 
and is used only for a shelter for the tin-type artist. The 
new barn needs minor repairs, the old barn quite extensive 

I would suggest that the old bowling alley be torn down 
and, if the commission deems it advisable to grant a conces 
sion for a tin-type studio, let it be a new, small and unob- 
trusive building. The business is little favored by the public, 
and a venture of that nature seems to mar the effect that the 
public desires, and to savor too much of the air of cheap 
resorts. But a small percentage of the visitors to the reser- 
vation patronize the table of the hotel, and any changes in 
the building ought to be directed toward the ' * pavilion " 
style. On the other hand, a very large percentage of visi- 

1901.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 11 

tors bring their lunch with them, and, to avoid the litter 
caused by widely separated lunch parties, two places were 
selected as picnic grounds, and waste barrels were placed at 
convenient points. Cheap tables were built for temporary 
use, but are unsightly, and I would suggest that for picnic 
grounds, and for resting places along the trails and at view 
points, tasteful, artistic rustic benches and shelters be built. 

The police force consists of two officers, in addition to 
your superintendent, who is empowered to act as police. 
Their duties are general. In the summer season they are 
nearly all the time on police duty. In the winter they 
assist in work of whatever nature they may be called upon 
to do, but spend a certain portion of each day in patrolling 
the reservation. Thus far no arrests have been necessary, 
but the presence of police has done much to prevent a violation 
of the rules and regulations governing the use of the reser- 
vation, as well as to detect the presence of fires on the reser- 
vation or adjacent lands, and, if necessary, collect the laboring 
force to assist in putting out the fires. 

The railing for hitching horses has been removed from the 
summit, and a free horse shed for the accommodation of 
the public is in course of erection, at a point a little below 
the summit, where it will be sheltered from the winds and 
nearly hidden by foliage. It will accommodate six teams, 
and may be enlarged when conditions warrant it. Railings 
for hitching horses will be erected at suitable places. 

Near the summit of the mountain is a small pond, fed by 
surface water and springs, the water of which is used for 
washing purposes at the hotel, and for barn purposes. It 
is forced from the pond to a tank in the second story of the 
hotel by a wind-mill pump. The wind-mill will not last 
through another season, but the pump was new this season 
and is in good order. The water flows naturally from the 
pond to the barn. This pond also supplies the ice used in 
the hotel, a small ice house being built on the shore. All 
drinking water for the hotel has to be carted from a point 
one mile or over from the summit, where a pipe from a spring 
conducts water into a large hogshead, which serves as a pub- 
lic drinking fountain, and the overflow from the hogshead 


nins into a horse trough. Both the hogshead and horse 
trough are worn out. A new hogshead and a stone water- 
ing trough are necessary. 

The matter of thirsty pedestrians being accommodated 
witli drinking water upon reaching the summit rests entirely 
upon the generosity of the lessee of the hotel, as it devolves 
upon him to bring up the water, at no little trouble. Water 
might be obtained by boring a well, or, after thoroughly clean- 
ing the pond, by filtering the water from it. 

The spring above mentioned has been thoroughly cleaned, 
the basin enlarged, and boxed in so that all foreign matter is 

Surveys have been made, and are now under way, of the 
trails, showing the grades and alignment, also a profile of 
the mountain road. This work has been done with a view 
of eventually having a complete topographic map of the entire 
reservation. To that end, bench marks have been carefully 
established and checked as the work progressed (all eleva- 
tions are referred to sea level) , and the work may be ex- 
tended from time to time, ultimately securing a complete 
and reliable topographic map that will be of great service in 
laying out roads and paths. 

The carriage road has a maximum grade of 18.8 per cent, 
and an average grade of 8.67 per cent. The grade is easier 
than on many town roads. The total distance to the summit, 
from the entrance to the reservation, by carriage road is 7,500 
feet, or 1.4 miles. The most diflicult ascent is at a point 
called the Ox Bow," the grade being 18.8 per cent., and 
on a very sharp curve, which adds to the danger of accident. 
Surveys are under way with a view of easing this grade and 
sharp turn, which may be accomplished by swinging the road 
out into the Baker Pasture." If this land is not acquired 
in toto, a small taking will be necessary to carry out this 

The retaining wall alongside the mountain road has in past 
years been undermined and in many cases completely demol- 
ished, thus increasing the liability of the Commonwealth in 
case of accident. About 4,000 feet of a total distance of 
7,500 feet has been rebuilt, and the growth along the road 

1901.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 13 

has been thinned out and improved, rendering traffic more 
safe and beautifying the drive. 

There are 37 sluices under the road which require constant 
cleaning, but are a great protection to the road during heavy 
rains and in the spring time when the snow is melting. 

The north-east side of the mountain is particularly beauti- 
ful for its wild grandeur. Tremendous boulders are tumbled 
about in the greatest confusion, making numerous caves and 
high points commanding a fine view. At the present time 
this portion of the reservation is practically inaccessible, 
but paths may be cut and marked, inducing hardy lovers of 
nature to venture in these places. 

The reservation has been properly posted with guiding 
signs, and rules and regulations governing the use of the 

The greatest interest shown by visitors to a mountain 
reservation naturally lies in the location of surrounding 
mountains, ponds, cities, villages, etc. To gratify this de- 
sire, the hotel is surmounted by an observatory, in which is 
placed a very inferior telescope and a particularly inferior 
map, showing the country within a radius of 45 miles. This 
map is very small and very crude, not to say incorrect. A 
fee of ten cents is charged by the lessee of the hotel for ad- 
mission to the observatory and use of telescope and maps. 
I would recommend that the commission furnish a good tele- 
scope and map, that an attendant be placed in charge, that 
a sufficient fee be charged for the use of the telescope, to 
cover expenses, and that admission be free. That is the way 
to protect the telescope and maps from misuse and to give 
the best service to the public. I have a map under way 
which will be extremely accurate, and will show the princi- 
pal points of interest (which may be seen from here) in the 
whole of Massachusetts and portions of the adjacent States. 

Little has been done in the forestry line as yet, excepting 
thinning out the undesirable growth near the carriage road 
and trails. At some future time the reservation ougcht to be 
divided into sections, and a systematic method adopted for 
treating each section. This will not only beautify the moun- 
tain, but will greatly improve the growth. 


A varied assortment of game inhabits the reservation, 
which, under the rules prohibiting hunting and trapping, 
will undoubtedly increase rapidly. The proposed lines of 
the reservation will enclose an ideal deer park, there being 
both woodland and pasture, and proper feeding. Under 
proper protection deer would multiply rapidly. Trout 
rarely come into the streams on the reservation, but in the 
streams on land which ought to form part of the reservation 
they are quite numerous. 

The reservation now includes only the top and portions 
of the side slopes of the mountain and of a total boundary 
line of 23,553 feet in length; only one place, 890 feet in 
length, may be used by the public for ingress and egress, the 
rest of the reservation being inaccessible except by trespass 
on private property. The trails all terminate on private 
land. Some of the most beautiful scenery and most heavily 
wooded land lies without the present reservation but within 
the lines of the circumscribing highway, which is the natural 
boundary line of what should be included in the reservation. 

Beautiful ravines, small ponds, natural curiosities, woods 
and pastures, lie without the reservation, and, what is of 
great importance to the commission, the owners of these 
woodlands contemplate cutting off the wood. In some cases 
we have secured their promise that they would do no cutting 
until the next session of the Legislature, when it would be 
definitely known whether the commission would be able to 
purchase these lands ; in other cases we could secure no 
such promise. 

It is very essential that some action should be taken to 
preserve these woods, if the commission ever intend to ac- 
quire them. The acquisition of these lands will include sev- 
eral small fields of mowing land, which will be valuable both 
as nurseries and for hay for reservation use. 

As mentioned above, the road around the mountain should 
be the boundary of the reservation, after excepting certain 
small pieces now used for hotels and summer residences, the 
value of which, to the owners, is far in excess of the value 
to the Commonwealth. 

1901.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 15 

In the future the road around the mountain could be con- 
verted into a parkway, and a new road to the summit of the 
mountain should he opened from the south-west side, thus 
giving an unsurpassed drive of 8 miles around the mountain, 
with two or more driving roads to the summit. 

The number of visitors to the mountain during the season 
of 1900 is far in excess of former years, notwithstanding the 
fact that the nearest electric railway line is three miles from 
the summit and the nearest steam railroad is some six miles 
away. With proper facilities for reaching the summit, it is 
difficult to estimate the large increase in the number of visi- 
tors likely to come to the reservation. For an approximate 
estimate, I should say that during June, July and August 
13,000 people visited the reservation ; and during April, 
May, September, and October, fully 2,000 more. This esti- 
mate does not include those who entered the reservation over 
private property, or those who did not reach the summit. 

The present quarters of the superintendent are secured by 
lease until June 1, 1901, after which time some different 
provision will have to be made. I would suggest a house 
built on the reservation, combining office, stable and police 
headquarters, as eventually, with an enlarged reservation, 
the police should be mounted. I append hereto a list of tools 
and equipment now in possession of the superintendent, also 
a map showing the state of affairs as I have outlined them. 

Respectfully submitted, 





1 light mountain transit, " Gur- 

1 levelling rod. 

1 stadia rod. 

2 8-foot lining poles. 
2 celluloid triangles. 

1 hard rubber French curve. 

1 horn protractor. 

1 metal protractor with vernier. 

1 steel straight edge. 

1 pair proportional dividers. 

1 celluloid scale. 

4 covered paper weights. 

1 set of beam compasses 

2 draughting tables. 

1 roll-top desk and fixtures. 
1 plan case. 
4 chairs, 1 stool. 
1 cuspidor, 1 wastebasket. 
1 100-foot steel tape line, "Luf- 

3 plumb bobs. 

1 magnifying glass. 
1 dozen thumb tacks. 
14 marking pins. 

1 pair scissors. 

2 uniforms and helmets. 

3 badges. 

1 time book, 2 ledgers. 

9 field books. 

3 letter copy books. 

1 calculation book. 

1 roll tracing paper. 

3 hand fire extinguishers. 

1 democrat wagon. 

1 mare. 

1 sleigh. 

1 harness (complete). 

1 saddle, bridle and martingale. 
1 riding whip, 1 pair riding leg- 

1 saddle blanket. 

2 robes, 2 blankets, 2 barn blan- 


2 whips, 1 carriage jack. 
Barn sundries. 

1 glass cutter. 

2 files. 
1 rasp. 

1 pump for windmill. 
1 suction pump. 
1 brand " W. M. S. R." 
1 putty knife. 

1 dust pan, brush and broom. 

2 granite dippers with chain. 
1 bottle vaseline. 

1 saw. 

1 duster. 

2 water cans. 

h inch, I inch, twist bits. 

1 expansion bit. 

1 screw driver. 

1 claw hammer. 

1 gouge, 1 firmer chisel. 

6 waste barrels. 

1 pair cutting pliers. 

1 stone point. 

3 stone wedges. 

Stone wedges and shims,'assorted. 
1 bit stock. 

1 bush scythe and snath. 
6 axes. 
1 hatchet. 

6 round point shovels. 
3 steel crowbars. 
1 pinch bar. 

1901.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 


2 iron rakes. 
1 grub hook. 
1 manure drag. 

1 post hole spoon. 

2 sickles. 

4 picks, 4 mattocks. 

1 monkey wrench. 

2 whetstones. 

7 wheelbarrows, 

9 stone hammers, assorted size. 

1 hoe. 

6 stone drills. 
1 plane. 

1 Atlas of Massachusetts (com- 
p 1 i m e n t s of Topographical 
Survey Board). 

1 large map of Wachusett reser- 

Tracing and blue print of Taking 
No. 1. 

map of Wachusett Mountain 
and vicinity (compiled). 

1 profile of mountain road. 

1 map of Wachusett Mountain, 
dated 1875. 

1 map for observatory (incom- 
plete) . 

PUBLIC DOCUMENT .... .... No. 65. 


wachtjsett mountain 
State Reservation Commission. 

January, 1902 


18 Post Office Square. 


No. 65. 



wachusett mountain 
State Reservation Commission. 

•>,»' ''»->„ , ,^ » I • >, , 


18 Post Office Square. 





Since submitting the first annual report of this commis- 
sion, the State has granted an additional appropriation of 
$25,000 for the purpose, as set forth by your commission- 
ers, of acquiring certain properties wliich were very essen- 
tial to make the reservation more complete, and to establish 
a larger boundary line on the public highways, thereby pro- 
viding easier access and exit for the public. 

The reservation, at the time of our first report, contained 
563.51 acres ; since receiving the above-named appropria- 
tion we have acquired 816.82 acres additional, increasing 
the total area at the time of this report to 1,380.33 acres. 
The accompanying plan, prepared by our superintendent, 
indicates the various takings which compose the reservation 
as at present constituted. 

But a portion, however, of these properties taken have 
been paid for, as will be shown by the report of the reserva- 
tion superintendent, Mr. Guy H. Chase, and which is at- 
tached hereto and made a part of the commissioners' report. 
It will be seen that $13,833.45 has been expended for 508.92 
acres, and that 307.90 acres still remain unpaid for. Legal 
and other expenses attending the acquirement, examination 
of titles and transfers also remain unpaid. A balance still 
remains available for these purposes, as will be shown by 
the financial exhibit attached hereto and made a part of this 

An appropriation of $7,500 was made by the county of 
Worcester for maintenance of the reservation for the year 


ending April 1, 1902. A statement of the receipts and dis- 
bursements on this account is embodied in this report, show- 
ing a balance on baud of $1,568.41, which it is estimated will 
be sufficient to meet current expenses until new appropria- 
tion is made. 

Your commissioners feel that the coming year should show 
a considerable improvement in the reservation. A large 
amount of time has necessarily been expended by the super- 
intendent during the past year in determining the boundaries 
of the various properties acquired and attending to other 
duties allied to the acquirement of the same, thus preventing 
him from devoting the time he otherwise would have given 
to the improvement of the reservation as a whole. 

During the coming year it is contemplated changing the 
location and abrupt grade at the " Ox Bow," so called, which 
will result in removing the most dangerous element in the 
present mountain road. 

It is also under contemplation to provide a deer park upon 
an advantageous portion of the State property, and to stock 
the same with deer. This has been more fully touched upon 
in the report of the superintendent herewith presented. 

Your attention is called to the superintendent's report and 
the financial exhibits herewith presented for detailed infor- 
mation of our stewardship. 

Respectfully submitted, 



1902.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 



To the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Commission. 

I have the honor to submit herewith my second annual 
report, accompanied by map and photographs. 

The larger part of the work has been fully set forth in my 
regular monthly reports to the commission, which show that 
much of the work has been maintenance, very little new 
work having been undertaken. 

The principal routine work is devoted to clearing out the 
dense underbrush and tanglewood of fallen trees. This 
work will take years of labor and a great deal of money to 
cover the whole reservation, and will be a permanent task, 
as the undesirable growth comes up very rapidly. How- 
ever, it will be money well spent, as the forests on the side 
slopes of the mountain may be made very beautiful by a 
proper system of forestry, though little can be done on the 
summit, owing to the devastations of the winds and ice for- 
mation. The growth on the side slopes consists of a great 
variety of trees, which, if given a chance, will develope into 
dense forests. 

We have cleared the approach to Echo Lake and a nar- 
row belt of land around the shores, and it furnishes a good 
example of the great improvement the reservation will show 
when it is all trimmed. 

A large amount of brush has been burned, but it accumu- 
lates so fast, and there is but a limited time when it is safe 
or practicable to burn it, that for some time yet there will 
have to be more or less brush left in piles. 

About 1,200 feet of retaining wall have been laid since the 
date of the first annual report, making now 5,200 feet out 
of a total of 7,500 feet. 


The road was placed in first-class condition at the begin- 
ning of the season, and kept so throughout the season, 
making an easy drive to the summit. The only place where 
the road could be improved by a change of location is shown 
in the plan submitted by me, which shows the maximum 
grade of the present road to be 18.8 per cent, on a very sharp 
curve, and the maximum grade of the proposed alignment to 
be but 9.50 per cent., increasing the length of the road about 
300 feet, and necessitating about 800 cubic yards of excava- 
tion and about 600 cubic yards of fill. The road has been 
maintained with such care that a smaller amount of material is 
required each year to keep it up to standard. At the close 
of the summer season bars are built across the road at fre- 
quent intervals, which prevent a great waste of material by 
wash-outs during the rainy season in the spring, but do not 
prohibit the use of the road, making it only a little more 
difficult of ascent. Of crushed stone, well rolled, 1,300 
yards will make an excellent road, that will last many years, 
and we ought to have 500 yards additional for repairs, which 
would suffice for many years. 

The hotel, barn and ice house were newly painted outside, 
and the hotel was newly painted and papered inside ; other 
repairs were made, and all the furniture formerly owned by 
the Beaman heirs was bought, also some new furniture, 
shades, etc. The hotel was managed by Mr. Alley L. Har- 
rington, and open from May 30 to October 1. 

A new telescope of high power and field glasses were 
purchased for the observatory, and, being used only under 
the direction of an attendant, did not sufier the usual damage 
by rough handling. 

The observatory map is nearly completed, and will prob- 
ably be ready for public use in another season. It is very 
carefully constructed on geodetic principles, and shows all 
cities, villages, ponds, streams, hills, mountains, etc., between 
latitude 42° 00' N. and 43° 00' N., and longitude 70° 50' 
W. and 73° 15' W., and in addition gives azimuth lines for 
finding high mountains that may be seen from here that fall 
outside the limits of the sheet. It has been carefully checked, 
as far as completed, and has proved to be very accurate. 
Roughly speaking, it covers a territory of 50 miles east, 70 

1002.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 


miles west, 40 miles north and 35 miles south, the limits of 
the map being governed by the limitations of the view from 
the summit of this mountain, except towards the north, where 
on clear days one may discern the White Mountains, 127 
miles distant. And, as stated above, azimuths are given, 
showing the direction of those mountains, as well as some of 
the Green Mountains of Vermont. 

During the summer season the atmosphere is often very 
hazy, limiting the view to a comparatively small radius ex- 
cept on very clear days ; while in the spring and fall the 
atmosphere is nearly always clear, and it is a common oc- 
currence to see as far as the White Mountains. Even in the 
winter the ice view on the mountain and the distant view 
well repay one for the discomforts of a trip to the summit. 
The road is kept open at all seasons of the year, and it is 
often very good sleighing to the summit. 

Our observatory is wholly inadequate for the purpose, 
being but 12 by 16 feet, the difficulty being that persons are 
continually standing in line with the observer. When the 
railroad is built to the summit, some better arrangernent will 
have to be made for an observatory. In fact, the whole 
house is old and unsuited for the business, and is wholly be- 
yond any but minor repairs. 

A new steel windmill has been erected in place of the old 
one, which was blown down in a gale, and gives satisfaction. 
I think by blasting or boriug we shall be able to obtain water 
on the summit, as the pond there is certainly fed by springs. 

The new horse sheds were completed, and for the present 
are large enough for the needs of the public. 

We have done a great deal of surveying to determine the 
lines of our recent acquisition of land, of which I will speak 
later, and the routine work of showing the topography is 
progressing favorably. This will prove an invaluable feature, 
and there ought to be some provision made in the new head- 
quarters for this map and the others that are accumulating 
very rapidly, as well as for the note books that are filled , 
and that represent many hundred dollars of work. I would 
suggest that a safe or vault be built into the walls of the new 

The police have made but few arrests, and no case has 


been carried to court as yet. Their duties more properly 
consist of giving information to the public, guarding against 
accidents in driving on the mountain road, and generally to 
aid the public in the summer season ; and in the winter to 
assist in surveying and other work, as well as to patrol the 
reservation to watch for hunters. The reservation is so well 
posted that the rules governing its use are very generally 
understood by the public, and little trouble is caused by 
violators of such rules. Since the acquisition of the new land 
for the reservation, some of which lies in the town of West- 
minster, the police have been appointed in that town as well 
as in Princeton. 

Echo Lake and the pond in the Bolton land, recently ac- 
quired, are capital places for breeding trout, both places 
being fed by springs ; and, after flash-boards are placed on 
the dam and proper weirs constructed, I would recommend 
that the ponds be stocked. 

The privilege of cutting ice on Echo Lake has been 
granted to Mr. P. C. Doolittle of Princeton, for certain con- 

A bridle path from a point near monument 39, running 
past Echo Lake and connecting with the old stage road near 
monument 10, has been commenced, and could be made into 
a passable driving road with little expense, as the grades are 
quite moderate. 

I am drawing up specifications for a deer fence to enclose 
about 300 acres on the south-westerly side of the reserva- 
tion. This will enclose an ideal deer park, as it is largely 
in a sheltered position, and Echo Lake furnishes a good 
watering place, near which a shelter may be built, which 
will also be near headquarters, and the game can be fed and 
properly attended U) in the winter. 

I have ordered 48 stone monuments to mark the corners 
of our recently purchased land, and these will be set as soon 
as the frost is out of the ground. 

The cottage on the Reed place was repainted and papered 
inside, and is now occupied by one of the reservation police- 
men, at a small rental. 

I give below a list of the lands thus acquired, and the area 
and consideration paid. 

1902.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT— No. 65. 9 

Area (Acres). 


Frederick E. Reed, 
Sarah A. Gregoiy, . 
Annie M. Billiard, . 
Annie M. Bullard, . 
William R. Howe, . 
Mary M. Baker, 
Lizzie M, Chandler, 
Heirs of Jonas Merriam 
Frank W. Fenno, . 
David W. Hill, 
Oliver M. Merriam, 
Myra L Merriam, . 
Arno Hurd and Edward Flag 
Theodore S. Wood, 
AYickliffe H. Waterhouse, 

Mary N. Bolton, 
Joseph Hager, 
William J. Black, . 
Heirs of George Smith, 


$3,500 00 


550 00 


460 00 


152 00 


325 00 


2,534 00 


528 70 


900 00 


90 00 


156 25 


375 00 


412 50 


400 00 


550 00 


2,900 00 


$13,833 45 


Not yet paid for. 


Not yet paid for. 


Not yet paid for. 


Not yet paid for. 


Making a total area of land taken in takings Nos. 2, 3, 4, 
5 and 6 of 816.82 acres, which, with land taken by taking 
No. 1, dated April 30, 1900, makes the whole area of the 
reservation 1,380.33 acres. 

Respectfully submitted. 





elAN. 1, 1901, to Jan. 1, 1902. 

State Appropriation. 

Balance Jan. 1, 1901 (last report), . . 81,373 74 
Appropriation for 1902, • . . . . 25,000 00 

$26,373 74 


Engineering pay roll, $524 65 

Engineering expense, . . . . . 77 03 

Legal expense, 150 00 

Real estate, 14,033 45 

14,785 13 

Balance f 11,588 61 

County Appropriation. 


Balance, Jan. 1, 1901, $2,306 32 

Appropriation for 1901, .... 7,500 00 

Hotel, 167 77 

$9,974 09 


General expense, $1,042 66 

Repairs on roads, 484 19 

Repairs on buildings, 892 06 

Iniprovements, 1,329 92 

Tools and equipment, 535 81 

Retaining wall, 299 47 

Engineering pay roll, 541 49 

Engineering expense, 9 25 

Superintendent, 763 32 

Clerical, 152 50 

Office supplies, 81 81 

Police duty, 578 75 

Hotel, 1,694 45 

— 8,405 68 


$1,568 41 

Taming No. a Noi/emfoem./aoi 

2 6.20 Acre 

., S. 
.. 6. 

/ 2e.70 

„ Sot. 10 

e/ e.82 

Tahing No I Apn//7, 1900 sea. -If 

Totoi Area iseojo 






An NIC M. Bull apd. 

Commonwealth of Massachuse t ts. 
Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Commission. 
Plan accompanying the Second Annual Report of the Commissi or 



RELATION to.tamimg no.i.the: original taking. 

^ hlovntoin House. 


William J. Blacm 

fiffs. OF Geo free ■5m i rn 



MARy N. Bolton. 
Taming No. '<^ 





Mahv N. Bolt ON. 

No. 6. 

-J. \ -Z^ / S.WOOD. 

wicntirre. H. watlphcusl. 


No. I 



MAFiyN. Bolton/ 

JOHN P Flo pen 



fna/cotes lines of foMngs. 

Numher.1 refer ro none incnutnenfs 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT .... .... No. 65. 


or THE 

Wachusett Mountain 
State Reservation Commission. 

January, 1903. 


18 Post Office Square. 



Xo. 65. 



Wachusett Mountaln 
State Reservation Commission. 

Jaxiaky, 1903. 


18 Post Office Square. 

Approved by 
The State Board of Publication. 





Address, Princeton, Mass. 


By reference to the second annual report of the commis- 
sioners, it will be seen that at that time there remained 
unpaid for 307.9 acres taken for reservation purposes. We 
have now to report that payment has been made for the 
same, with the single exception of a small parcel of 3.5 
acres, suflScient funds for which are in the hands of the 
commissioners. In addition to the above, we have acquired, 
by Taking No. 7, 1.03 acres, purchased of S. R. Hey wood, 
trustee, making the area of the reservation at the present 
time 1,381.36 acres. 

By the act of 1901, granting $25,000 for the purpose of 
enlarging the reservation and improving the roadway thereon, 
the area has been very materially increased, and the boun- 
daries improved by being brought as far as possible to the 
line of the main county road leading from Westminster to 
Princeton. Notwithstanding, however, that the said appro- 
priation has been as judiciously expended as possible, and 
that the additional properties secured for the State have 
been at reasonable cost, there still remain other parcels of 
land, lying betw^een the present reservation boundaries and 
the aforementioned county road, which the appropriation 
would not admit of acquiring, but which, in the opinion of 
your commissioners, should be secured by the State while 
it may be done at a reasonable cost. For this purpose 
we w^ould respectfully petition for a further appropriation 
of $15,000 to enable the commissioners to secure the few^ 
remaining properties which are so desirable and essential. 

^VACHUS^:TT mountain commission. [Jan. 

During the year considerable progress has been made in 
the direction of improving the mountain road at the Ox 
How, details of which wnll be found in the report of the 
superintendent, annexed hereto. 

A deer park, embracing about 5 acres, has been enclosed, 
and contains at the present time six deer and one elk, all 
of which are in a thriving condition. It is contemplated 
enlarging this park very considerably during the present 
year, and fencing material is already upon the reservation, 
sufficient to encompass eventually an area of at least 300 

Active steps are being taken toward the erection of a 
cable road to the summit of the mountain, and it is hoped 
that such a road will be in operation in season to accommo- 
date the summer visitors of the present year. 

The reservation has been much improved since the last 
report, and was visited during the season of 1902 by a 
larger number than ever before in its history. The moun- 
tain road is in excellent condition, arrangements for visitors 
are convenient, and protection is afforded them by compe- 
tent and courteous park officers. The present year should 
show still further improvements in every direction. 

Appended to this will be found the report of the superin- 
tendent, who has shown a commendable zeal in putting the 
reservation into the best possible condition, so far as the 
county appropriation would admit. The financial report, 
showing disbursements during the year, will also be found 

Respectfully submitted, 



1903.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Ko. Bo. 



Princeton, Mass., Jan. 1, 1903. 
To the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Commission. 

Gentlemen : — I submit herewith my third annual report, 
accompanied by map and photographs. 

The routine work has been fully set forth in my regular 
monthly reports to the commission. 

Since the date of the last report all land damages have 
been settled, excepting a small parcel of land taken from the 
heirs of George Smith, situated on the northerly part of the 
reservation, in the town of Westminster, and the settlement 
of that claim is progressing as fast as the circumstances will 

We have made one taking. No. 7, in the past year, con- 
sisting of a small parcel of land on the north-easterly side 
of the reservation, adjacent to the highway, and containing 
1.03 acres of land, purchased from S. R. Heywood, trustee. 
This last taking now^ makes the total area of the reservation 
1,381.36 acres. 

The cellar to the new headquarters, office and residence 
of the superintendent has been excavated, and the material 
used for grading in the vicinity of the new house. The 
foundation wall, piers and the first floor of the house have 
been laid. The sills and first floor were laid in the late fall, 
in order to protect the foundation from the elements in 

An addition to the barn has been built, for the purpose 
of a covering to carts, wagons and sleds when not in use, 
and to provide more stall room for horses. 

In the early spring the deer that were purchased from Mr. 
Benson were temporarily housed in the Initel of a near-by 


barn until the completion of the deer fence ; and, as there 
was some delay in getting the fence from the factory, and 
afterwards in erecting the same, and as the deer were bought 
some time before the work could be begun on the fence, the 
long, close confinement had an ill efiect upon them which 
caused the death of one of the deer. 

The fence, which is electrically welded wire, is manu- 
factured by the Clinton Wire Cloth Company of Clinton, 
and has thus far proved to be an excellent fence for the pur- 
pose. The posts are of chestnut and oak, and were cut 
upon the reservation, and spaced 12 feet apart. The fence 
is 7 feet high, except where the inequalities of the surface 
of the ground necessitated the building of a rough wall 
underneath, where in some places it is fully 10 feet high. 

After turning the deer and elk out they improved very 
much in condition and appearance, and are now in fine con- 
dition . 

Two deer were purchased in October, and one doe has 
been captured on the reservation. There are many deer in 
this locality, and I have no doubt we may secure more, per- 
mission to do so having been obtained from the Commis- 
sioners on Fisheries and Game. We are o'ettins^ out of 
the woods a large number of posts for the enlargement of 
the deer park, and in the spring we shall enclose another 
large area ; as the herd increases, the area will also be in- 
creased, and at all times the animals will have abundant 
grazing and running ground, and will be, to all appearance, 
practically running wild. We have about 4 miles of fence 
on hand, including what has been erected, all of which will 
be needed for main and cross fences. 

Some work has been done toward easing the grade on the 
mountain road at the Ox Bow, so called ; a double box stone 
culvert for carrying away the waters in the spring of the 
year is nearly completed, and a large part of the new loca- 
tion has been cut or filled to the proposed sub-grade. This 
work will be pushed in the spring, in an effort to have the 
new location ready for use the coming summer. 

In all places where the boundary lines are not defined by 
fences or walls a wide swath has been cut, showing plainly 

190a.] PUBLIC D0CUMP:NT— No. (;5. 9 

the lines of the reservation, which a,re posted conspicuously 
in all places. 

Stone monuments have been set at all angles in the lines 
of the reservation, a total of 70 having been set. 

One hundred and forty bench marks have been established 
at different points by precise levelling, for use in the topo- 
graphic survey, which is made on the telemeter system with 
excellent results ; and the work is progressing favorably, 
about one-third of the reservation having been covered thus 
far. The contour interval is 5 feet, and shows very plainly 
the topographic features of the mountain. 

When the survey is completed, or far enough advanced to 
warrant doing so, I would suggest that some driving roads 
or bridle paths be laid out and built over different portions 
of the reservation. 

The observatory map has been completed, and 500 litho- 
graph copies placed on sale in the observatory, at a price 
of 75 cents each. This map has proven very accurate and 
instructive to visitors, and many have availed themselves of 
the opportunity of purchasing copies. 

The receipts from the observatory were in excess of the 
preceding year, as was also the attendance upon the moun- 

With the advent of the proposed railroad to the summit 
of the mountain we may expect an exceedingly large increase 
in the number of visitors ; and some provision ought to be 
made for a material improvement in the hotel and out-build- 
ings on the summit, to accommodate the large number that 
will take advantage of such means of reaching the summit. 
Sanitary arrangements should be provided, also a supply of 
pure water obtained at the summit, to obviate the necessity 
of carting it to the summit from below. 

Mr. Alley L. Harrington leased the hotel the past seas^on, 
and provided excellent accommodation for the public. 

The ice house on the summit has been filled, and Mr. 
Charles U. Hubbard has been granted the exclusive privilege 
of cutting ice upon Echo Lake for a term of seven years, for 
certain considerations favorable to the commission. 

Notwithstanding the fact that the last appropriation from 


the (Tcneral Court was considered sufficient to buy all the 
land needed to enlarge the reservation, I think it would be 
well to acquire certain properties, which are shown upon a 
map herewith submitted, for the following reasons : first, 
because the land ought })roperly to be included in the reser- 
vation, and mav be bought for a much lower tioure ilow than 
it may be later; second, the purchase of said properties 
will eliminate certain easements and water rights that it 
might become necessary later on to acquire ; third, upon 
some of the lands are situated farmhouses which could be 
rented to workmen on the reservation, thus enabling them 
to live near the work. This is of importance, as now the 
workmen are obliged to travel long distances to get to the 
work. Furthermore, some of the land will yield a supph^ 
of hay for the animals, while other parcels are needed to 
round out the lines of the reservation. 

An appropriation of $15,000 will, in my judgment, be 
sufficient to cover all the damages for the land required. 

As we are progTessing favorably wdth our enclosure 
fences, I would suggest the purchase, in the spring, of 
more deer and other animals. 

I append hereto an inventory of tools and equipment, 
excepting an inventory of the hotel furnishings, which is on 

Respectfully submitted. 


Superintendent . 






Balance Jan. 1, 1902, $11,688 61 

Mary N. Bolton (returned), .... 100 00 

Disbursements. • 

Real estate, $7,898 30 

Legal, 1,016 74 

General, 77 50 

Improvements, . .' 54 00 

Balance on hand Jan. 1, 1903, .... 2,642 07 

$11,688 61 

«11,688 61 

Princeton, Mass., Jan. 1, 190.",. 


Commonwealth or MAssAChuSETT s. '''^^^a/^/^a, 
^^m^ETT Mountain State F^lsefivation commissi^ 


'^^y FULL Lines show boundah i es or Reservation 
I I903. 


rUBLIC DOCUMENT .... No. 65. 



Wachusett Mountain 
I State Reservation Commission. 

J ANUARY, 1904. 


18 Post Oitice Square. 



No. 65. 



-- .Wachusett Mountain 
State Reservation Commission. 

Jo -1 

January, a^04;i<: /xT'-P ^','^3 


18 Post Office Square. 

Approved by 

* • • • o 





Commissioners. • ; . 


THEO. L. HA.RjiloV;''. //. .!* 

Address, Princeton, Mass. 


In presenting the fourth annual report of your commis- 
sioners, in which the work performed upon the resei^vation 
is shown in detail by the annexed report of the superintend- 
ent, we beg to point out in advance that the efforts of your 
commissioners, through lack of funds necessary to improve 
the property, have been severely handicapped. 

In our third annual report we called attention to the 
necessity of appropriating not less than $15,000, to be used 
mainly for the purpose of acquiring certain properties, in 
order to adjust the reservation boundaries to the public 
highways. It seemed to your commissioners that the prop- 
erty of the Commonwealth, when used for public purposes, 
as is this reservation, should not be hemmed in fi'om the 
main avenues of travel by private holdings, which is the 
case in certain portions of the park under the present con- 

It is also imperative, in the opinion of your commis- 
sioners, that roads be established upon the reservation as 
-oon as practicable, in order that the pubhc may enjoy its 
beauties, which at the present time are practically inacces- 
sible, excepting under conditions ^hich would hardly seem 
creditable in a pleasure ground of the Commonwealth. 

In order to better illustrate what is required in this direc- 
tion, we have had prepared a map showing the proposed 
roads, by which it will be seen that a large poitiou of the 
reservation in its present condition can only be approached 


with difficulty, while by the establishment of the proposed 
roads it would be opened to the public, and many of the 
most beautiful portions of the reservation brought into 
general use. 

The county appropriation has been barely sufficient in the 
past to cover the cost of maintenance, and thus the Com- 
monwealth through its commissioners is utterly unable, 
owing to lack of necessary funds, to improve the property 
and make it accessible and enjoyable. The natural condi- 
tions are such that, with reasonable expenditures, it could be 
made one of the most attractive features in the entire park 
system of the Commonwealth. It stands in the same relative 
position to the central part of the State that the metropolitan 
park system does to Suffolk County and its surroundings. 

It might not be amiss to point out at this time the relative 
position of Worcester County as regards the remaining por- 
tion of the State, by way of emphasizing the importance of 
developing this beautiful property. 

Worcester County alone contains 1,600 square miles, or 
nearly 20 per cent, of the entire area of the State. Its 
population is over 350,000, and its valuation is about 
$250,000,000. These facts should in our opinion command 
the serious attention and thought of our legislators, and 
convince them of the importance of acceding to the requests 
of your commissioners, and thus enable them to furnish the 
playground to which such an important part of the Com- 
monwealth is justly entitled. 

As far as the limited appropriations would admit, your 
commissioners have done all that has been possible to make 
the reservation attractive to the residents of the cities and 
towns in its vicinity ; and the yearly increase of visitors is 
practical evidence that, with the much-needed improvements 
already mentioned, this resers^ation could be made one of 
the most creditable and enjoyable possessions of the Com- 

In order to put into effect the suggestions contained in 
this report, your commissioners estimate that not less than 
$15,000 will be required, and an appropriation of that 
amount is hereby respectfully requested. 

1904.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 65. 7 

Annexed will be found the report of oiu* superintendent, 
giving details of work performed, and desired improvements 
for the future ; also the financial report of the commissioners, 
showins: receipts and disbursements dui'ing the past year, 
all of which is 

Respectfully submitted, 






Balance Jan. 1, 1903, $2,642 07 


Repairs to roads, $1,100 00 

Engineering pay roll, 663 62 

Clerical and office expense, 203 75 

Balance, 674 70 

2,642 07 

Balance in hands of State Treasurer, f 674 70 

1904.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 



Princeton, Mass., Jan. 1, 1904. 
To the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Commission. 

Gextlemen : — I have the honor to submit herewith my 
fourth annual report. You have been advised from time to 
time of the routine work which has been under way during 
the past year, and it will be necessary to touch upon only 
a few matters concerning what has been done. 

Echo Lake dam has been entirely rebuilt, and a substantial 
flume for regulating the level of the water in the lake has 
been put in the centre of the dam. The water level has been 
raised two feet higher than formerly, giving a maximum 
depth of about eleven feet. The top of the dam is to be 
used as a driving road, to form part of a system of roads to 
be built. The water in the lake has been drawn olf, and the 
bottom thoroughly cleaned of stumps and mud. 

About two miles of deer fence have been constructed, mak- 
ing a total area of enclosure of about sixt}^ acres. Within 
this enclosure are deer, elk and Angora goats. There are 
also twenty mallard ducks on Echo Lake. In addition to 
these, we have purchased from the Blue Mountain Forest 
Association deer and elk, which have as yet not been 

The house for your superintendent has been completed 
and the grading nearly finished. The office adjoins the 
house, and contains a fireproof vault for maps and papers, 
etc. AVater is piped from Echo Lake to the building with 
sufficient head to give good fire service. 

The new location of the road at the Ox Bow was opened 
to public travel in the spring, although the final surfacing 
was not completed at that time, as it was deemed advisable 
to have a season's travel over the road first. 


The Summit House is in urgent need of extensive repairs 
to make it suitable for public use. 

There have been but two arrests the past year, both of 
which were for the violation of our rule forbiddins^ enterino- 
the reservation with an automobile. 

Our experience has demonstrated the futilitj^ of trying to 
clean up the vast area of decrepit trees and dense underbrush 
on the reservation for any immediate results ; and after going 
over the ground with Mr. Theodore F. Borst, forest engi- 
neer, it has seemed to me advisable to devote much of our 
energy and means toward reforesting with trees more adapted 
to the reservation by nature, and- gradually clean out this 
undesirable growth, substituting therefor white pine and 
spruce, and developing and encouraging the young hard 
woods now coming up. Of course the work will make 
very little immediate showing, but it seems to me this is 
the only solution of the problem that confronts us in regard 
to the woods on this reservation. Future generations will 
profit by our beginning, and ultimatel}^ the reservation will 
be covered with a forest that will yield a revenue from con- 
servative lumbering sufficient to carr}^ on the work of the 
reservation. To that end I outline the mode of procedure 
I deem advisable to adopt. 

First of all, there should be located and built for the 
pleasure of the public, for marketing the wood, and for 
fire guards, a system of main roads, which should be so 
laid out as to take in the most attractive features of the 
reservation and to give access to the same from diflferent 
points on the circumscribing highways, and as the topog- 
raphy of the ground will best allow. The area enclosed 
by these main roads should then be subdivided into areas 
of from fifteen to twenty acres each, by trails, cart or bridle 
paths, as the grades may determine, thus enabling us to 
confine a forest fire to one of these areas. For administra- 
tion purposes, each of these subdivisions, trails, etc., ma}^ 
be lettered or numbered, as fulh^ shown on the map accom- 
panying this report. Our great and ever-present danger is 
from fire, and that must be guarded against in some such 
manner, as outlined above. 

» H 

:jd m 

m :j3 

^ -v 

H O 

1 ;o 
m H 

O z 

33 ^ 

m O 

cn -ri 

3J I 

1904.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 


We have been steadily at work on the contour map, which 
shows contours at five-foot intervals, and it is practically 
finished, thus enabling us to lay out the main roads and trails 
to the best advantage, and with the proper appropriation 
this may be taken up in the early spring. As the matter 
now stands, the greater portion of the reservation is inacces- 
sible to the public, and in nearly nine miles of outside 
boundar}^ lines there is but one road which leads to the sum- 
mit, and no road into the interior of the reservation. There 
are quantities of wood to be gotten out, if we have roads to 
carry it upon ; and in the tree-planting work roads will be 
a necessity. These roads and trails may safely be burned 
Qver each year by having chemical extinguishers at hand, 
and kept free from any growth, proving effectual fire guards. 
After having l)uilt the roads and trails, each section may be 
treated by itself, under the direction of a forest engineer, 
and a certain area reforested each year, thus systematizing 
the work ; and, with our cord wood, intermediate yields and 
final harvest, we may expect good returns from a very 
promising investment. About 25 per cent, of our area is 
either open pasture or what might be termed waste lands. 
This should be planted to spruce and pine, as an investment ; 
but, even from an aesthetic stand-point, what could be 
more interesting and instructive to the general public than 
to watch a new forest gradually develop in waste land ? 

To this end it becomes necessary to first establish a nursery 
for raising seedlings ; these could get a fine start the first 
year, while we were building roads and trails, and the third 
year we would be in a position to supply all our needs for 
each year's planting. 

Such a nursery could be established at a small expense, 
and an ideal location presents itself on the Woodward parcel 
adjoining the reservation, which is already a very promising- 
stand of young pine, and which is also needed for adminis- 
trative purpose, as set forth in our last annual report. 

It is my intention to photograph the sections of the reser- 
vation as the work progresses, and keep a photographic 
record of all work. 

To revert again to the fire problem, I wish to emphasize 

12 WACHUSETT MT. COMmSSION. [Jan. 1904. 

the necessity of the roads to enable us to get chemicals and 
tools for fire fighting on the danger ground in the shortest 
possible time ; and 1 earnestly recommend that pole box 
telephones be placed upon the summit and at out-lying 
points on the reservation, connected with headquarters, for 
the purpose of quickly notifying headquarters of any danger 
of fire, for police purposes, for administrative purposes, and 
incidentally for hotel use at Summit House. This would 
mean but a slight expense after the first cost, and might be 
the means of preventing a disastrous fire. 

It is my intention, with your permission, to construct a 
relief map of the mountain, from the contour map, to be 
used in forestry work, and also as an exhibit of interest to 
the public. 

In my judgment, the sum needed to purchase the necessary 
lands for completing the reservation and for building the 
main driving roads and doing the other necessary develop- 
ment work would be not less than $20,000. 

I submit herewith a map, showing in a general way the 
scheme as I have outlined it, and also two parcels of land 
which we should acquire to complete our boundaries and 
provide for nurseries. 

Hoping that this plan will meet Avith 3 our favor, I am, 

Very respectfully yours. 




PUBLIC DOCUMENT .... .... No. 65. 



Wachusett Mountain 
State Reservation Commission. 

January, 1905. 


18 Post Office Square. 



No. 05. 



Wachusett Mountain 

State Reservation Commission. 

J A X U A K Y, 190 5. 

»'>D* » *>.><* > * *% 

> J J > . ° > » > . 


18 Post Office Square. 


Approved by j 
The State Board of Publication. 





Address, Princeton, Mass. 



In our fourth annual report we presented the necessity 
of establishing fire guards upon the reservation, and sug- 
gested at that time that an appropriation be granted for that 
purpose, but it was not favorabh^ acted upon. We desire 
in this our fifth annual report again to emphasize the neces- 
sity of the establishment of these fire guards upon the 

AVe wish particularly to refer to that portion of the report 
of our superintendent wherein he refers to the importance 
of providing such safeguards upon the reservation. At the 
risk of repeating what we have already stated in previous 
reports, we feel it our duty to again present this matter in 
as forcible a manner as possible. The commission believe 
that, unless some steps are taken in the direction of procuring 
proper and efHcient protection against fire, the reservation 
will at certain seasons of the year be left open to a possible 
conflagration, and consequent serious loss to the State, which 
it would take many years to repair. The danger of this will 
be more apparent when it is considered that the reservation 
embraces at the present time over 1,300 acres. 

As has been pointed out in the report of our superintend- 
ent, we have akeady been visited b}^ one conflagration, 
which, had it not been for most fiivorable circumstances 
which existed at'tliat time, would have proven a \ery seri- 
ous loss to the Commonwealth. The necessity of these fire 
guards was at that time made apparent, and, in order that 
the property of the Commonwealtli may be properly pro- 
tected, we desire again to draw your attention to the neces- 
sity of an appropriation for this purpose. 


Not less than $15,000 will be required to properly estab- 
lish these fire guards, and for the purpose of acquiring some 
small tracts of land which are very essential in establishing 
the proper natural boundaries of the reservation upon the 
travelled highways. We desire to point out, in connection 
with the establishment of these proposed fire guards, that 
not less than two of them should extend across the above- 
mentioned tracts of land which it is the desire of the com- 
mission to acquire for the State. It should also be borne in 
mind that these fire guards can at a comparatively moderate 
expense be eventually developed into comforta])le roads over 
the different parts of the reservation, and in this way result 
in opening the same to the general public. It may not 
be out of place to say that at the present time there is but 
one road accessible for vehicles upon the reservation, and 
consequently but a small portion of it is available except to 

This reservation is a very valuable possession of the State, 
and, as has been pointed out in our fourth annual report, 
provides a recreation ground for the people of the central por- 
tion of the State. To quote from this report : " Worcester 
County alone contains 1,600 square miles, or nearly 20 per 
cent, of the entire area of the State. Its population is over 
350,000, and its valuation is about 1250,000,000." The 
reservation is being visited by larger numbers than in pre- 
vious 3^ears, and is fast becoming a popular resort. In- 
creased facilities for reaching it in the way of trolley lines 
are under contemplation, and, in the opinion of the com- 
mission, the reservation is becoming appreciated more and 
more every jear. 

In view of this fact, viz., that the public is making greater 
use of the reservation each year, the absolute necessity for 
better accommodations at the summit becomes more ap- 
parent. The old hotel is in part entirely ruinous, and 
cannot be properly repaired; it must be reconstructed. 
The money received from the count}' is, under the law, 
only available for purposes of maintenance ; and the county 
cannot, even if willing to do so, build new structures on 
State land. The commission feel that something must be 


PUBLIC DOCr:\IF:XT — Xo. 65. 

done iu the State's interest, and that our manifest duty 
would be neglected if we did not present the facts for your 
consideration, and suggest a means of preserving propert}- 
under our care. The commission urge the appropriation of 
an additional sum of $10,000, to be used in removing the 
ruinous parts of the summit house and adjoining buildings, 
and the erection of suitable structures in their stead. 

The commission, therefore, recommend the passage of the 
following act : — 

Ax Act to provide for the Improvement and Enlargement 

OF the Wachusett Mountain State Resertation. 
Be it enacted, etc., as follows : 

Section 1. A sum not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars 
shall be allowed and paid out of the treasury of the Common- 
wealth, from the ordinary revenue, to be expended by the Wachu- 
sett mountain state reservation commission for the following 
purposes : for the construction of fire guards in and upon said 
reservation, and for acquiring, by purchase or otherwise, such 
lands adjoining the present Wachusett mountain state reservation 
as said commission may deem it necessary or advisable to acquire, 
a sum not exceeding fifteen thousand dollars ; for the reconstruc- 
tion of the summit house and adjacent buildings on Wachusett 
mountain in said reservation, a sum not exceeding ten thousand 

Section 2. Said commission shall have the same power to 
acquire, take and care for such additional lands as are given to it 
by section four of chapter three hundred and seventy-eight of the 
acts of the year eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, and section 
two of chapter four hundred and ninety-six of the acts of the year 
nineteen hundred and one, in respect to the lands already acquired 
by the commission for said reservation. The additional lands 
taken or acquired under the provisions of this act shall form a part 
of said reservation, and the title thereto shall be and remain in the 

Section 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage. 

Eespecttully submitted, 





Princeton, Mass., Jan. l, 190.^. 
To the Wachusctt Mountain Stale Resey'vation Commission. 

Gentle^lex : — The administration of the reservation 
having been under j^our direction, it is unnecessary to enter 
into detail of the work done during the past year : but I 
wish to again call your attention to the urgent need of tire 
guards or roads. In my last annual report to the Board 
" indicated upon a map the general lay-out of such roads or 
tu-e guards, and since that time I have built a section, and 
have other sections under wa}^ ; but, vinless the appropria- 
tion is materially increased, it will take many years to 
properly protect the reservation, while disastrous fires are 
liable to occur at any time. This is especially true of tracts 
of land open to the public, and a fire with slight headway 
under proper conditions might devastate the mountain. 

As an illustration of this danger, I might state that a fire 
which started recently, and burned over about ten acres, 
killing ever}^ tree upon the tract, was finally extinguished 
only by a combination of favorable conditions, which would 
seldom occur. The fire occurred on the outside limits of 
the reservation, the direction of the wind was fa Adorable, and 
the fire ran to an old brook bed that acted as a fire guard, 
and well illustrated their practical value. 

With the intention of reforesting the Avaste lands of the 
reservation, and that portion where the growth is in a de- 
cline, we have established a nursery, in which we raise 
young conifers from the seed, for transplanting upon these 
areas. This nursery is started in a small way, but will be 
materially enlarged the coming spring. It Avill be unwise 
to plant extensive areas of young pines and spruces Avithout 
adequate protection from running fires, for even a light sur- 
face fire Avill ruin a plantation of young transplants, which 







1905.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 65. 


marks the beginning of a future forest reservation. I con- 
sider it not only good administration to protect the property 
of the Commonwealth from a danger of fire, but also a i)lain 
l)usiness of insurance against fire losses. 

These fire guards are merely cleared strips about twenty 
feet wide, dividing the reservation into relatively small 
areas, upon which a fire may be controlled. These divi- 
sions may be subdivided by paths cleared to a width of six 
or eight feet, thus making the reservation accessible at all 
points. The guards and paths are laid out with due regard 
to the topography of the mountain ; and, while the present 
purpose is to prevent the spread of fires and to provide 
means of reaching them with proper facilities for extinguish- 
ing the same, they may ultimately be made into ver}' good 
driving roads and paths, at a moderate additional expense. 
Any delay in providing for these fire guards may be attended 
with serious losses. 

The land upon Avhich the nurser}- is located is leased land, 
and two of the fire guards are laid out across the parcel, and 
it is essential that an appropriation be made for the purchase 
of said parcel. 

The relief map is well under way, and will be completed 
this winter. It is made upon a vertical scale of fifty feet to 
an inch, and a horizontal scale of two hundred feet to an 
inch. It will show with extreme accuracy the shape of the 
mountain, and, with the topography map which has recently 
l)een completed, will be of great assistance in all work of 
development of the reservation, not only for the present, 
but for years to come. The relief map will be interesting 
to the public, as well as useful for the administration. 

The buildings at headquarters have been painted and 
minor repairs made, and all the grading, seeding and tree 
planting finished, and very little money will have to be ex- 
pended at headquarters in the future ; a considerable part 
of our appropriation has been spent in getting things into 
shape for the proper future de^ elopment of the reservation, 
and now we have proper facilities to devote the whole ap- 
propriation to development and maintenance. 

Last year a new dam was built at Echo Lake, raising the 


water a little over two feet, and it was spiled only about 
ten feet each side of the flume in the centre of the dam. It 
became evident that to make a water-tight dam it would be 
necessary to spile the whole length, which has been done. 
We also placed our water pipes under the dam, and buried 
them to a depth of four and one-half feet all the distance to 
the cottages and stable, thus preventing a recurrence of last 
year's trouble Avith frozen Avater pipes. A road to Echo 
Lake has been built, and is a fair type of road that may 
ultimately be built upon the lines of our fire guards. 

We have made, painted and set many signs, giving dis- 
tances, directions and elevations at many places upon the 
reservation ; and upon the mountain road we have con- 
structed a small shelter and one lookout, which have proved 
so useful and popular that more should be built in the spring. 

The hotel was leased to Mr. William R. Howe the past 
season, and the observatory, as usual, was managed by our 
emploj^ee. I think the attendance on the mountain showed 
an increase over the preceding year. The visitors have 
been very orderly, and it has been necessarj^ to arrest but 
six persons. 

Two or three more traps for wild deer have been con- 
structed, and the old ones improved by a new gate device. 
This season we have caught one large buck and two does. 

We have trimmed the underbrush along a strip of land 
bordering upon the road on the westerly edge of the reser- 
vation, and are only waiting a favorable time to burn it, thus 
improving the former dangerous conditions. We can now 
burn over areas of land with a greater degree of safety, 
as I have purchased six hand chemical fire extinguishers, 
which have proved very useful. 

I will again urge an appropriation for the purchase of the 
Sawtelle parcel, which is needed to round out the lines of 
the reservation, and also to give us more barn room and a 
place for the workmen to live. 

Respectfully submitted, 




1905.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. (i5. 11 


Amount in hands of State Treasurer, JaniiaiT, 1904, . . $674 70 
Paid on orders for real estate, .... $350 00 
Paid on county reimbursement order, . . 324 70 

$674 70 

PUBLIC DOCUMENT .... .... No. 65. 




January, 1906. 


18 Post Office Square. 


No. 05. 




January, I'^OG '-, ' 


18 Post Office Square. 

\l / \ i\ Approved by 

The State Board of Publication. 





Address, Princeton, ^Liss. 



Commonfeealt^ of W^mnnc^mtiiB, 


In the fifth annual report of the commission it was strongly 
urged that an appropriation of $25,000 be made to enable it 
to construct fire guards, acquire adjoining lands and to re- 
construct the building at the summit of the mountain. Owing 
to the fact that no such appropriation was made by the Legis- 
lature last year, your commissioners have no report to render 
for such work as was therein recommended, except such as 
they have been able to do out of the appropriation made by 
the county of Worcester. It was pointed out in that report 
that fire guards for the protection of the State property were, 
in the opinion of the commissioners, absolutely necessary; so 
necessary, in fact, that with the money allowed by the county 
of Worcester, which is hardly more than sufficient to main- 
tain the reservation in fair condition, a certain amount had 
to be spent in the construction, so far as it would go, of the 
fire guards that we had urged upon the Legislature. In view 
of the fact that it was not deemed wise on the part of the State 
to make appropriations for this purpose, the commissioners 
have decided to make no further request for help in this re- 
spect from the State, but to go on with the construction of 
this necessary protection out of the county appropriation as 
fast as it is possible, notwithstanding that the commissioners 
believe that serious loss may result because of uncontrollable 
fires within the limits of the reservation. 

The report of the superintendent shows in detail the work 
as it has been done, and the measures that have been taken to 


protect, so far as it is possible, the territory acquired by the 
Commonwealth on Mount Wachiisett. 

Reference is made to the report of the consulting forester 
as to certain methods of developing the forest growth on the 
mountain, with a view to improving the growth thereon, as 
a matter of financial economy and also as a matter of pictur- 
esque beauty. These reports are submitted herewith, as in- 
dicating the needs in the case and embodying also the views 
of the commissioners themselves. 

The reservation is yearly becoming more popular, and more 
people not only from the immediate country but from greater 
distances are collecting here each year as a centre for recrea- 
tion and pleasure; it is estimated that nearly 50,000 people 
visited the reservation during the past year. It must be 
manifest that where so many people congregate, proper ac- 
<?ommodations should be provided for their use. As has been 
repeatedly stated to the Legislature in former reports, the 
liotel and its surroundings are wholly inadequate, and are a 
<3a.use of very much adverse criticism by the people who visit 
this region. It is claimed by these persons that, the reserva- 
tion having been made for the public good, proper means of 
enjoying themselves should be supplied by either the State 
or the county. 

By the advice of the Attorney-General, and also from the 
opinion of the county attorney, it is impossible for the com- 
mission to spend the appropriation made by the county for 
any material improvement or reconstruction of the State's 
buildings. The law provides that the county of Worcester 
shall maintain the reservation, and no more. The county 
money, therefore, cannot be used except to a very small de- 
gree in improving the conditions on the mountain. 

The commissioners ask that a sum of not less than $12,000 
be appropriated by the Legislature for the purpose of recon- 
structing the hotel on the summit, as being, in their opinion, 
no less than the circumstances actually demand. 

The commissioners also believe and have so stated previ- 
ously that certain tracts of land should be acquired, for th 
filling out of the proper outlines of the reservation. For this 
they ask a sum of not less than $5,000. 

1906.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 7 

So far as the condition on the State reservation is con- 
cerned, it may be stated that the commissioners have used 
thtiir best efforts in preserving the natural beauties ; in main- 
taining the only road to the summit in a satisfactory condi- 
tion; in building various shelters for the use of the public 
at different points within the reservation which command 
especially fine outlooks; in doing such things as they could 
towards the improvement of the forest conditions; in con- 
structing roads as fire guards, as above referred to; and in 
further increasing, by breeding and otherwise, the number of 
deer and elk contained within the limits of the reservation. 
The cost of maintaining these animals is very small, owing 
to the fact that the natural increase requires no outside pur- 
chase, and all the feed is raised upon the reservation. The 
commissioners have felt that the breeding of deer and elk 
under conditions very near to their natural ones is an inter- 
esting experiment; they have made a careful study of this, 
and believe that the result may be of general usefulness. 

There appears to be no doubt that this reservation will 
serve, as was intended, a very large public need, and it is 
very manifest that the public appreciates what the State has 
furnished. It seems, therefore, unwise on the part of the 
Commonwealth not to enable its commissioners to complete 
what it plainly had in view when the reservation was origi- 
nally established. The commissioners therefore recommend 
the passage of the following act : — 

An Act to provide for the Improvement and Enlargement 

Be it enacted^ etc.y as follows : 

Section 1. A sum not exceeding seventeen thousand dollars 
shall be allowed and paid out of the treasury of the Common- 
wealth, from the ordinary revenue, to be expended by the Wachu- 
sett Mountain state reservation commission for the following 
purposes: for acquiring, by purchase or otherwise, such lands 
adjoining the present Wachusett Mountain state reservation as 
said commission may deem it necessary or advisable to acquire, a 
sum not exceeding five thousand dollars; for the reconstruction 
of the Summit house and adjacent buildings on Wachusett Moun- 
tain in said reservation, a sum not exceeding twelve thousand 


Section 2. Said commission shall have the same power to 
acquire, take and care for such additional lands as are given to it 
by section four of chapter three hxmdred and seventy-eight of 
the acts of the year eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, and sec- 
tion two of chapter four hundred and ninety-six of the acts of 
the year nineteen hundred and one, in respect to the lands already 
acquired by the commission for said reservation. The additional 
lands taken or acquired under the provisions of this act shall 
form a part of said reservation, and the title thereto shall be and 
remain in the Commonwealth. 

Section 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage. 

Respectfully submitted, 



1906.] PUBLIC DOCOIEXT — Xo. 65. 9 


By R. T. FiSHEB, Consulting Forester. 

To the Wachuseft Mowntain State Reservation Commission. 

Deae Sms : — I submit hereT^th mv report upon an ex- 
amination of the Wachusett Mountain forest, imdertaken at 
the request of Mr. Harold Parker, for the purpose of deter- 
mining the most satisfactory scheme for the regulation and 
development of the forest growth within the reservation. My 
understanding of the function of this tract, which I have dis- 
cussed with Mr. Parker and Superintendent Chase, is that 
it is primarily a State park, for the resort and recreation of 
the people, and that it therefore should preserve and render 
accessible the woods, streams, points of outlook and other 
natural features of the mountain; but that, on the other 
hand, so long as this general policy is not interfered with, 
there is no reason why the wood and timber should not be 
utilized and developed in order in some degree to cut down 
the expenses of the reservation, or to increase the value and 
productiveness of the land. It is the fact that the present 
general needs of the Wachusett forest, from the park point 
of view, would be very largely fulfilled by a policy of utiliza- 
tion and development for the forest growth ; but, on the other 
hand, improvements such as the extension of roads, trails and 
fire guards, which will render the tract safer and more ac- 
cessible as a park, are needed to make the proper and profit- 
able treatment of the woods fully practicable. It is assimied. 
therefore, in the general scheme herein discussed, that the 
carrying out of the park idea and the betterment of the forest 
go together. 



The forest contained in the Wachusett reservation is mainly 
in poor condition. The great bulk of it consists of sprout 
hard woods, chiefly red, black and white oak, hickory, beech, 
chestnut, white ash, sugar and red maple. Most of it has 
been cut clear several times already, and the present stand, 
in blocks of various ages from ten to fifty years, is much 
reduced in value and vitality. Inferior species, such as gray 
birch, bird cherry and red maple, have in many places begun 
to crowd out the better trees, and the general rate of growth 
has been lowered through the frequent coppicing. In the 
higher parts of the reservation considerable damage was done 
to the larger growth by the ice storm of 1900. Much of the 
forest, however, particularly in the southern and southwestern 
portions, on the Gregory and E-ussell takings and along the 
Harrington trail, shows a thrifty young growth either of 
white pine or valuable hard woods, which, if released in time, 
will take the place of the older or worthless trees. 

In addition to the main hard wood stand, there are scat- 
tered bodies of hemlock, occurring on the steep ledges south 
and west of the mountain and in the ravine above the deer 
park. The trees are old and of slow growth, but thrifty and 
reproducing well. White pine occurs in small groups on the 
west slope, and as a rapidly increasing young growth in and 
about the Woodward lot and along the lower and westerly 
edges of the forest generally. Taking the forest as a whole, 
whether as a park or a wood crop, it stands in need of proper 
cuttings to improve the growth, restore the lead to the valu- 
able species, and encourage reproduction in the older, less 
healthy portions of the woods. Such cuttings would in no 
way spoil the characteristic appearance of the Wachusett 
forest, but rather tend to prevent its degenerating into forest 
weeds and poor growth. 

Available Yield. 
The present available yield consists almost entirely of cord 
wood. Small amounts of pine and hemlock saw timber could 
here and there be got out, but they are mostly too valuable 

1906.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 


for purposes other than liunber to be considered for cutting, 
except for local use in very small quantities. The hard wood 
areas, according to the treatment proposed, will yield from 3 
to 10 cords per acre at the first thinning or improvement 
cutting. This applies to stands twenty years old and over. 


The situation of the Wachusett forest, concentrated upon 
the exposed slopes of a single mountain, makes the spread 
of a forest fire unusually easy. Furthermore, there is so 
much brush and small growth in the woods, which in occa- 
sional spring or autumn droughts get very dry, that a very 
destructive fire might easily occur. At present there are no 
adequate checks or fire guards to assist Mr. Chase and his 
men in restricting and fighting a possible fire. 

General Outline of Management recommended. 
In view of the facts that the Wachusett Mountain forest 
is in poor and unproductive condition and considerably ex- 
posed to damage from fire, and that its best usefulness as a 
park would be fulfilled by a policy of protection and gradual 
improvement and regeneration for the woods, the following 
scheme of management is recommended : — 

1. Protection, 

(a) A system of roads, trails and fire lines, so laid out as 
to make all parts of the tract accessible, and so adapted to the 
topography as to obstruct the natural progress of fires, and 
offer bases for back-firing in case of need. 

(&) At least two resident watchers or patrolmen to watch 
the tract during the dangerous seasons of spring and fall, 
report the start of fires promptly to the superintendent, and 
go at once with all available help to the spot. 

For the purposes of protection, as well as of travel, the 
roads, etc., already built, proposed and under construction by 
Mr. Chase are thoroughly serviceable, but they should be 
completed and extended along the lines indicated as fast as 


2. Transportation. 

Driveways or wood roads sufficient to make it possible to 
get out wood from the portions of the mountain most in need 
of cutting. This applies especially to the lower south and 
westerly slopes. 

For this purpose also Mr. Chase's proposed locations are 
thoroughly suitable. 

3. Cuttings. 

(a) Thinnings and improvement cuttings in young and 
irregular stands, to improve the conditions of growth and 
remove the worthless in favor of the valuable species. Such 
cuttings to be made only where the stand is dense, and old 
enough to yield a return at least equal to the cost of the work. 

(h) Reproduction cuttings in the older or damaged por- 
tions of the forest, to start young growth or release what is 
already on the ground. These cuttings to be made gradually 
over small areas, where the stand is accessible and the yiel 
sufficient to cover the cost. Under this treatment, small 
amoimts of saw timber can here and there be cut. 

(c) Xo cutting should be made on the ledges and pr' 
cipitous portions of the mountain, where the growth is slow 
and the danger of drying out the scanty soil is great. 

J/.. Planting. 

The open and unused land along the northern and easte 
margins of the reservation should be gradually restocked with, 
suitable species, particularly white pine. Some planti 
could also be done in the sparser portions of the forest, wher 
natural reproduction is poor. 

These measures Mr. Chase has already planned and pr 
vided for vdth a good forest nursery. 


The operations outlined above cover what seems to be 
complete and sufficient management for the forest land of a 
public reservation like Wachusett. Inasmuch as they depend 
upon more roads and more labor, they require some outlay. 

1906.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 


The need of roads and trails, and at times more patrol, is 
quite as essential to the perpetuation and usefulness of the 
park, as such, as to the woods operations alone; therefore, 
only a portion of the cost of these measures is chargeable to 
the account of forestry, and their total cost can be more 
reliably had in Mr. Chase's estimates than in any that could 
here be given. As for the treatment of the woods, though it 
cannot be completely carried out under the present resources 
of the reservation, it can be satisfactorily begun. The pro- 
posed cuttings should yield a more or less constant profit, 
and they certainly are advisable if they pay no more than 
their own cost. Cord wood can be cut and shipped to one 
of the local brick yards or wood yards for (in round figures) 
from $3.50 to $4.50 a cord. The chopping will cost from 
$1 to $1.25, according to whether the thinnings will yield 
enough to be cut by the cord or by the day. Hauling to 
Princeton or Westminster should cost not over $1.35 ; load- 
ing, 25 cents; and shipping, $1.60 to $1, according to whether 
shipment is to Boston or nearer points. Marking the trees 
for cutting will cost from 5 to 10 cents a cord. This makes 
a maximum cost of $4.55, and a minimum of $3.65. On 
this basis, the prevailing price of $5 a cord for wood will 
leave a margin of from $1.35 to 45 cents as the returns from 
thinnings and improvement cuttings. If some of this should 
have to be used for the disposal of tops or swamping out 
temporary roads, the cutting would still be good policy for 
the reservation. 

As regards the planting, that cannot of course pay for it- 
self from the start, but it is none the less a good investment. 
Planting should cost at the outside $8 per acre, and should 
average nearer $6. An acre of white pine at fifty years old 
will yield from 30,000 to 40,000 board feet, according to 
soil, or, at a $5 stumpage rate, $150 to $200. At 4 per cent., 
the original outlay, with expenses of protection and inci- 
dentals, will have accumulated in that time to about $75, 
leaving $75 to $125 profit. Whether the timber be sold or 
left standing, the increase in the value of the land is plain. 


Execution of the Work. 

In view of present conditions, the execution of the general 
scheme recommended had best be imdertaken gradually, the 
roads and fire lines extended as the resources of the reserva- 
tion permit, and the forest improvements carried out wher- 
ever the need is greatest and the opportunity for paying work 
is best. If this plan is approved by the commission, I stand 
ready, as a part of the service covered by this report, to co- 
operate with Mr. Chase in looking up a market, in locating 
the first cuttings, and in marking a sample area of forest for 
improvement. It is essential to the success of these cuttings 
that they be intelligently laid out and frequently inspected, 
and that the care of young growth be rigidly required of the 
choppers. It would be desirable, though not at present im- 
perative, to have a detailed working plan for the whole tract, 
giving a description and an estimate of the stand; a division 
into compartments, with the exact condition and required 
treatment recorded for each ; a set of cutting rules and a forest 
map. At present this would be too costly to be justifiable; 
but, in default of a working plan, it is all the more urgent 
that a trustworthy man be trained to carry on the marking 
for cutting, tally and inspect the wood and oversee the chop- 
ping. Any honest and experienced chopper can do this, under 
proper direction ; or it may be possible, if Mr. Chase has the 
right help available, to distribute this work. 

I shall be glad to discuss the matters of execution and 
supervision when the commission has considered this report. 

Very truly yours, 


1906.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 15 


To the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Commission. 

Gentlemen : — For administration purposes, to properly 
protect the reservation from fire, for the benefit of visitors 
to the reservation, and to carry out the recommendations of 
the consulting forester, it is of primary importance to con- 
struct a system of road fire guards, as stated in my last an- 
nual report to your Board, and our efforts have been largely 
along those lines during the past year. We have constructed 
what is called the South Road, across the southerly end of 
the reservation, a distance of 4,750 feet, with all the neces- 
sary culverts, rock ballast, etc., with a maximum grade for 
a very short distance of 18 per cent, and an average grade 
of 5 per cent. This road is practically completed, requiring 
but a little surfacing in the coming spring. It is already 
used as a driving road for business and pleasure, and meets 
with a large measure of approval from the public, as well as 
being indispensable for administration of the reservation. It 
is altogether a well-built road, though it is in no sense a 

We have also constructed across the north end of the res- 
ervation a road termed the I^orth Road, extending from the 
Ox-bow on the Mountain Road to a point on the west town 
road in the town of Westminster, a distance of 5,400 feet, 
with all the necessary culverts and water courses, with a 
maximum grade of 14% per cent, and an average grade of 
5I/2 per cent. This road is not completed, as there is some 
unfinished ledge work; but it is passable for teams of any 
description, and in the early spring will be completed and 
open to the public. This road provides a new route to the 


summit for persons coming from Gardner, Westminster, Hub- 
bardston or any points north or west of the reservation, thus 
saving much in distance, and, what is of more importance, 
eliminating the necessity of descending to the level of Wachu- 
sett Lake, and then making the long ascent from the lake 
to the summit of the mountain. The entrance to the reserva- 
tion from the Westminster town road being 400 feet higher 
than the level of the town road at Wachusett Lake makes it 
unnecessary to descend to the lake and then climb 400 feet 
to reach a point on the Mountain Road the same elevation 
as the entrance to the reservation of the N'orth Road. 

We have cleared of all timber, wood and brush the loca- 
tion of what is to be termed the Administration Road, ready 
for construction in the spring. This road starts at a point 
about midway of the South Road, and runs through practi- 
cally the centre of the reservation to a point about midway 
of the N'orth Road, a distance of 8,400 feet, and is the im- 
portant link in the system of roads to be constructed. 

These three roads are a start in the right direction, and 
form a part of a system of roads to be built in the future as 
the appropriations will allow, not by any means a set of de- 
tached roads. 

Considering the topography of the reservation, the grades 
are all comparatively easy, and the construction equals that 
of the average town road. While these roads are given over 
for the use and pleasure of the public, it must be remembered 
that the primary object is administrative. The important 
work on the reservation is in the line of forestry, and the 
roads are essential before a proper start may be made. 

Since the date of our last report the nursery for raising 
seedlings for the purpose of reforesting the waste lands, and 
for underplanting where the growth is past its prime, has 
been enlarged until the capacity is three times greater than 
it was at that time. We now have over 2,000 lineal feet of 
seed beds, 4 feet wide, provided with movable screens, and 
have some two-year-old stock of white pine and white spruce. 
All the other seedlings came from the seed in May of this 
year. We have in the nursery the following stock : — 

1906.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 17 


Tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera. 

Catalpa, Catalpa bignonioides. 

Chestnut oak, Quercus prinus. 

Scarlet^oak, Quercus coccinea. 


Larch, Larix laricina. 

White pine, Pinus strobus. 

White spruce, Picea Canadensis. 

Red spruce, Picea rubens. 

Norway spruce, Picea excelsa. 

Blue spruce, Picea pungens. 

Balsam fir, ....... Abies balsamea. 

I would suggest that we reforest the summit of the moun- 
tain with spruce, — a tree well adapted to withstand snow 

and ice pressure. The present growth of beech is a low-lying, 
scrubby tree, that will never attain any great size ; while there 
are already a few white spruce trees that show by their 
symmetrical shape their ability to withstand the elements. 

White pine can be better started on the lower sections of 
the territory. The catalpa, being a rapid-growing tree and 
coming into use for railroad ties, was started in the nursery 
as an experiment, and time alone will tell whether it is suited 
to the climatic conditions prevailing here. Chestnut and scar- 
let oak were placed in the nursery primarily to add to the 
silva of the reservation. 

The proper treatment of the reservation from a forestry 
standpoint is fully set forth in the report of your consulting 
forester, Mr. Richard T. Fisher, with whom I am co-operat- 
ing in work of that nature. 

If the present plans of road building, reforesting and im- 
provement thinnings are carried to a conclusion, the time 
will surely come when the reservation will be in a large 
measure, if not entirely, self-maintaining. The sooner the 
roads are built to enable us to properly carry on the work, 
the sooner that end will be attained, as well as safeguarding 
the reservation from fire. 


The relief map is completed, and will be used as an index 
of all work of a forestry nature. This map shows very 
clearly the possibility of enlarging Bolton Pond to a depth 
of 25 feet, length of 2,000 feet, and an average width of 300 
feet, by the construction of a dike about 100 feet north of the 
present old dam. This dike would need to be but 300 feet 
long on top, with a height of about 30 feet in the centre and 
4 feet at each end. This would add greatly to the attract- 
iveness of the reservation, and it could be well stocked with 
fish. The work necessary to complete this dike could be car- 
ried along gradually, as the funds at our disposal would allow. 

During the past year we have built about 1,600 feet of 
guard fence along the roads, and all has been painted. We 
have built a very attractive lunch shelter upon the Indian 
trail near the summit of the mountain, with tables and seats 
for picnic parties. It is of rustic design, and no finished 
stock was used in the construction excepting the floors. 

A small parcel of land was seized from William R. Howe 
in the early spring, comprising Taking No. 8 ; this was needed 
to supply gravel for the construction of roads. 

I can only repeat what I said in my last annual report of 
the necessity of providing some adequate public convenience 
upon the summit. The present building is altogether beyond 
ordinary repairs, and any money expended in this way is 
simply wasted. What is needed is a new building, or an 
entire reconstruction of the present building, of a type more 
suited to the needs of the public, with proper sanitary con- 
ditions, provisions for supplying lunch, and a few rooms for 
those who are desirous of staying over night to see the 
beauties of a sunset and sunrise, and to see the lights of the 
neighboring cities and towns. This kind of a structure could ' 
be self-sustaining, to say the least. The present building 
is the subject of much well-deserved criticism from the public, 
who may reasonably expect to find better conveniences upon 
a State reservation so well patronized and appreciated as 

We have captured six wild deer to add to our herd, and 
we now have five elk. 

Of the routine work, policing, etc., you have been informed 

1906.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT— No. 65. 


from time to time, and I will add nothing here to what I have 
already stated in my other reports. 

The South Eoad is largely built upon land owned by the 
Woodward heirs, as is also the nursery. This land is held 
under a lease w^ith option, and it is absolutely necessary that 
an appropriation be made to enable us to acquire the same. 
There are also other small parcels which it is necessary for 
us to acquire, not from any vain desire to increase our hold- 
ings, but for the fulfillment of certain specific plans of im- 
provement; and I strongly urge that a petition for an appro- 
priation for the furthering of the plans outlined above be 
presented to the Legislature. 

Eespectf uUy submitted, 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT .... .... No. 65. 


Waohusett mountain 

State reservation commission. 

Ja^^ U A li Y , 1!9Q;7 


18 Post Office Square. 


No. 65. 



>^ . .... ; Wachusett mountain 
state reservation commission. 

January, 1907. 


18 Post Office Square. 

Approved by 

Ths State :BaA|tp (^^ PiiBLi<iA5?iOfj./, 





Address, Princeton, Mass. 


At the time the last annual report of the commissioners 
was rendered, it was recommended that an appropriation be 
made by the State of $12,000, to be expended in remodeling 
and placing the house at the summit of the reservation in a 
condition that would make it convenient for the public and 
a credit to the State. The final disposition of our recom- 
mendation was that the county be authorized to expend 
S12,000 for the purpose named. While this gave the county 
commissioners the authority to spend this amount for the 
purpose named, it was not mandatory upon them to do so. 
The result is that the house at the summit remains to-day 
in practically the same condition that it was one year ago, 
and we are advised by the superintendent of the reservation 
that unless some immediate steps are taken to either rebuild 
or remodel, the place must be abandoned in the near future. 

The appropriation of 85,000, made by the State for the 
acquiring of additional land and perfecting the boundaries 
of the reservation, is still in the hands of your commissioners, 
awaiting the proper deeds from the owners of properties and 
takings which are now under preparation, and the acquisition 
of the property will be perfected very shortly. 

The reservation has been greatly improved during the 
past year by building new roads, reforesting and improve- 
ment thinnings. A great element of danger, however, still 
lurks in the reservation through lack of proper fire guards, 
and protection against serious fires, which are liable to get 
beyond control during protracted dry seasons. Should such 


occur, the reservation would suffer beyond estimate, and the 
labor of years might easily be wiped out in a few hours. 
We have annually pointed out this danger, and have asked 
for appropriations in order that the property of the State 
might be properly safeguarded. We regret that the impor- 
tance of this matter has not received the attention which 
your commissioners felt was warranted in the interest of the 

It is the intention of your commissioners to proceed with 
the work of beautifying the reservation, and making it more 
and more accessible to the public so far as the appropriations 
from the county will admit. Its growing popularity is 
ample evidence of the wisdom of the Commonwealth in pro- 
viding within the borders of Worcester County a reservation 
which is furnishing yearly a most beautiful pleasure ground 
for its residents. 

For a more detailed report of the work done upon the 
reservation during the past year, we would respectfully refer 
you to the appended report of the superintendent. 

Jan. 1, 1907. 




1907.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 



To the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Commission. 

Gentlemen : — During the past year the appropriation 
allowed by the county of Worcester has been generally 
devoted to road building and forestry, — two branches of 
the work on this reservation which are closely allied, as 
stated in the report last year of Mr. Richard T. Fisher, your 
consulting forester. In addition to that work, however, we 
have carried on the regular work of policing, improvements, 
repairs and maintenance of roads already constructed, etc. 

As the total length of finished roads has more than doubled 
in the past year or two, it will be seen that the cost of re- 
pairs and maintenance increases, thus leaving less money 
available for new work in the line of road building. It 
would seem very desirable, therefore, that the county appro- 
priation should be slightly increased each year, as the length 
of finished road increases, thus enabling us to build a certain 
section of road each year, until the general road system as 
planned is completed. 

The Mountain Road and the South Road were resurfaced, 
and repairs made to culverts. Contrary to expectations the 
North Road was not completed until August, owing to a 
greater amount of ledge work than was anticipated. How- 
ever, it was open to travel all summer, and, with the South 
Road, was much used by the public and met with great favor. 
The Administration Road is so far completed that it is pass- 
able from the South town road to the nursery, though it has 
not been surfaced as yet. In my opinion, another season's 
work will complete this road to the Harrington trail from 
^ the South town road, and also mark a beginning at the other 
end, where it forms a junction with the North Road. As 
this road is projected through a basin of a depth of from two 
to three feet and an area of about ten acres, into which 


several streams flow, and from which there is no outlet except 
by overflowing, thus forming a swamp, it became necessary 
to drain that basin, which has been done by blasting two 
ditches through the rim of the basin, the water in one flow- 
ing into the Connecticut watershed and the other into the 
Merrimac, thus obtaining a good hard bottom for the road 
where before there was a swamp, and also reclaiming several 
acres of land. 

In the early spring we transplanted in the nursery about 
32,000 conifer seedlings, and reforested some unproductive 
pasture land with about 15,000 white and Norway spruce 
and white pine seedlings from two to four years old, and 
obtained very gratifying results, as fully 97 per cent, of the 
seedlings lived. As mentioned in earlier reports, the hard- 
wood growth has suftered much from snow and ice pressure, 
and I have taken a typical block (No. 1) and carried on an 
improvement thinning, with the results shown in the accom- 
panying photographs, obtaining a yield of about 8 cords to 
' the acre, releasing the young growth, and greatly improving 
the appearance of the block. 

For fire protection in block 2, which is a stand of white 
pine, we have cleared away the accumulation of debris upon 
the ground, and the dead branches from the trunks of the 
trees to a height of about eight feet. 

The reservation police officer is always on the lookout for 
fires, in connection with his other duties, and as a further 
precaution we have a telephone system consisting of seven 
stations at widely separated parts of the reservation, which 
enables us to be immediately informed in the event of a fire, 
as well as being of great value for administrative purposes. 
** Forestry and Irrigation " says of the value of the telephone 
in the United States forest reserves: "Now that the tele- 
phone is recognized as one of the best safeguards against the 
spread of forest fires, this arrangement means greatly in- 
creased safety to the reserves, secured without expense." 

Surveys for takings numbered 9, 10 and 11 have been 
made, and also plans for those takings. The deeds are now 
beinof drawn for takins: No. 9, beinof 64 acres of the estate 
of Caleb Woodward, on the southerly end of the reservation, 
and also for taking No. 10, being 55 acres of the estate of 


1907.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 65. 


George Smith, on the northerly end of the reservation. 
Negotiations are still pending for the acquirement of the land 
owned by the heirs of J. M. Sawtelle, being about 15 acres 
on the northeasterly side of the reservation. 

About 3,000 feet of guard fences have been built during 
the year, made necessary by embankments upon the new 

I trust that a sufficient appropriation will be allowed this 
year to enable us to replace the present unsanitary, unsighth' 
and inadequate structure upon the summit of the mountain 
with a building that will be a credit to the reservation. If 
the plans submitted by your architects, Messrs. Frost, Briggs 
& Chamberlain, are considered prohibitive, some more 
modest changes could be made, of the kind submitted by 
your superintendent. At all events, something must be 
done this year, or the house must be closed. 

Kespectfully submitted, 

Princeton, Mass., Jan. 1, 1907. 



i I 


Public Document No. 65 


Waohusett mountain 
state reservation commission. 

January, 1908 


18 Post Office Square. 

Public Document 

No. 65 




January, 1908. 


18 Post Office Square. 

Approved by 
The State Board of Publication, 





Address, Princeton, Mass. 

OInmmonmfaltli of fHaaBartiufirtts 


The act of the Legislature of two years ago empowered 
the county of Worcester to pay $12,000 for the construction 
of a new house on the top of Wachusett. As this reserva- 
tion is the property of the State, it was not considered by 
the county commissioners of Worcester County an act of 
great liberality on the part of the General Court, as it Avould 
add to the assets of the Commonwealth out of the revenue 
of the county. 

However, with the approval of the county commissioners, 
the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Commission last 
year spent about $3,500 of Worcester County's annual ap- 
propriation in building a new hotel on the site of the old 
one ; and further portions of the county appropriations will 
have to be used each year until the completion of the 

This Board has taken the position that, while it is incum- 
bent upon the county to maintain the reservation it is not 
expected that it shall bear the expense of additions to the 
State property, such as the acquiring of additional acreage 
or the erection or restoration of buildings thereon. 

During the past year the county appropriated $8,000, of 
which amount approximately $3,500, as stated above, has 
been expended in renovating and improving the building. 
It is estimated that not less than from $5,000 to $8,000 ad- 
ditional will be required to carry out the contemplated im- 
provements. It has appeared to the commissioners that this 
expenditure of approximately $10,000 is a proper one for the 


State to bear, inasmuch as it is a distinct addition to the 
reservation, and is State property, bearing the same relation- 
ship to the reservation, in the opinion of this Board, as do 
the various tracts of land acquired from time to time, for 
which the State has made appropriations. 

The residue of the county appropriation has been judi- 
ciously expended in building new roads, reforesting, and 
keeping the roads already established in good repair. 

The reservation was policed during the season, and every- 
thing within our means has been done to make it an enjoy- 
able recreation ground for the public. 

For a more detailed account of this portion of the work, 
reference is made to the annexed report of the superin- 

The following is a statement of the expenditures of the 
commission from Dec. 1, 1906, to Xov. 30, 1907 : — 

Appropriation, f5,000 00 

Paid Hobard Raymond, $2,300 00 

Paid heirs of Caleb Woodward, . . . 1,500 00 

Paid John P. Roper, 291 00 

Paid Elliot Peabody, legal services, . . 125 00 

4,216 00 

Unexpended balance, . f 784 00 


Wachiiselt Mountain State Reservation Commission. 

Worcester, Mass., January, 1908. 

1908.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 65. 7 

Appendix A. 


To the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Commission. 

Gentlemen : — I have the honor to submit my first re- 
port, accompanied by photographs showing the old " Summit 
House " and the proposed changes. The photographs, \Yhile 
showing the lack of artistic design, fail to show the unsafe 
and dilapidated condition of the old buildings. 

It having been decided to reconstruct the hotel from the 
county appropriation, work to begin in the fall, it was nec- 
essary to keep expenses down as much as possible through 
the summer months. This we have tried to do, only doing 
that which was absolutely necessary. 

The usual spring work was attended to in the nursery, 
about 6,000 white pine seedlings having been transplanted, 
and the beds replanted to white pine. I have decided to 
attend strictl}^ to white pine and spruce, as they seem the 
best adapted to our purpose. Different sections of unpro- 
ductive pasture land were reforested with about 6,000 two- 
year-old white pine and spruce seedlings. These are looking 
well, and about 50 per cent, of those that were planted in 
the past are doing well. 

The roads were found to be quite badly washed, owing 
to the severe spring rains. It is an expensive task to put 
these in shape each year, as the grades are unavoidablj^ steep, 
causing a heavy wash. They were put in good condition, 
and were well patronized through the summer months. 
About 600 feet of road were built, and 1,000 feet stumped. 

The hotel was leased through the summer, with the under- 
standing that it should be vacated the third of September. 
On the fourth we started tearing down the old ell, taking 


care to save all good lumber. The work of reconstruction 
was then begun, with a small force of men, under the super- 
vision of Mr. J. C. F. Mirick, your architect. Since then 
work has been pushed as much as possible under the circum- 
stances, it being hard to procure labor and materials, the 
location being a great drawback. We have been fortunate 
in building on the addition and new roof without any of the 
furnishings being damaged by the elements, and I am in 
hopes to have the hotel ready by the coming season. 

I have begun the winter work of improvement thinning on 
a small scale. There is a good market for wood, and I have 
disposed of some that was thinned out last year. 

Takings Nos. 9 and 10, mentioned in last year's report, 
have been added to the reservation, and also taking No. 11, 
which contained 29.1 acres, owned by John P. Roper. 

Respectfully submitted, 



Public Document Si ai EHCUo: No. 65 





18 Post Office Square. 

Public Document 

No. 65 




Ja^n^uary, 1909. 


18 Post Office Square. 

Approved by 
The State Board of Publication. 

■ Pi 


Comm iss zone rs . 



Address, Princeton, Mass. 

©1)0 iUcmmcntDealtf) of itla00acl)U0ett6. 


Your commissioners desire to report that the appropria- 
tion made by the county to cover the expense of maintenance 
of the reservation for the year 1908 (now embracing over 
1,400 acres) was $9,000. Had this entire amount been 
available for the maintenance and improvement of the reser- 
vation, which is in fact the sole object of the appropriation 
under the law which established it, your commissioners 
would be able to report a very considerable addition to its 
roads, foot paths and fire guards, a large advancement in re- 
foresting, and a general improvement in the facilities for the 
enjoyment of what has proved to be a most acceptable 
pleasure ground for the public. 

Unfortunately, however, your commissioners have been 
burdened with the remaining cost of remodeling the hotel 
at the summit (upon which the sum of $3,500 had already 
been expended in 1907), the cost of completion having 
been approximately $6,200, which left but about $2,800 
available for improvement work already mentioned, and 
which in the best interests of the State should be done. 
We desire to further report that out of this amount of $2,800 
it was necessary to expend $1,300 for a pumping plant at 
the base of the mountain and for piping to the summit, in 
order to furnish a proper water supply at the hotel. This, 
therefore, left but about $1,500 for the maintenance of the 
State property. 

Your commissioners desire in this report to repeat the 
statement in their report covering the year 1907, — that in 
their opinion the expenditure for remodeling the hotel at 


the summit is a proper one for the State to bear, it being in 
fact a part of the reservation, and consequently included in 
the propert}^ of the State, in which the county has no title. 
The meaning and intent of the act establishing the reserva- 
tion was that the State should purchase the property and the 
county should maintain the same. The hotel at the time of 
purchase was in a state of practical debilitation, and if it 
had been allowed to remain in that condition it would to-day 
have been practically worthless. It therefore does not seem 
proper to your commissioners that under these conditions 
the county should be required to remodel and make habita- 
ble the property of the State, and your commissioners would 
therefore respectfully ask that an appropriation of $8,000 
be made, with which to restore to a normal condition the 
roads and lands belonging to the Commonwealth, neglected 
for the past two years ; and they present the following 
bill : — 

An Act to reimburse the Wachusett Mountain State Reser- 
vation Commission for Money expended for the Construc- 
tion OF the Summit House, paid out of the County Appro- 
priation FOR Maintenance. 

Be it enacted, etc., as folloivs: 

Section 1. A sum not exceeding eight thousand dollars shall be 
allowed and paid out of the treasury of the commonwealth, from the 
ordinary revenue, to be expended by the ^A'achusett mountain state 
reservation commission for the construction of roads and fire guards 
and forestry improvements in the reservation. 

Section 2 This act shall take effect upon its passage 

The commissioners are unable to report any great im- 
provement in the property, other than the new hotel, dur- 
ing the year covered by this report ; but the limited amount 
available has been devoted largely to keeping the roads in 
good repair and maintaining the nursery. 

For details of the work done during the year we would 
respectfully refer you to the report of our superintendent, 
which is annexed hereto. 

Following is a statement of the expenditures of the com- 
missioners out of the $5,000 appropriated two years ago : — 


— No. 65 

Paid Hobart Raymond, 



Paid heirs of Caleb Woodward, 



Paid John P. Roper, 



Paid Elliot Peabody, legal services, 



Paid Ambrose E Weston, . . . . 



Paid Flora Plimpton, 



4,891 00 

Unexpended balance, $109 00 





To the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Commission. 

Gentlemen : — As stated in our last report, our main 
effort, and the greater part of our appropriation, was to be 
expended on the new " Summit House." I am pleased to 
report that we were able to open the hotel on the first of 
July for the convenience of the public. The work on the 
house was pushed as much as possible through the winter, 
and in the spring a large force enabled us to finish it com- 
paratively early in the season. But one coat of paint was 
given the exterior, the second being applied after the hotel 
closed in the fall. As the work progressed, many improve- 
ments over the original plans were brought to your attention 
and installed with your approval. This added to the origi- 
nal estimate, but greatly increased the attractiveness and 
convenience of the hotel. The lowest bid on the specifica- 
tions first submitted was $8,853.91. The commission think- 
ing it advisable not to build by contract, I find we saved 
approximately $300. The total cost, with additions and 
improvements mentioned, was $9,697.30. Owing to the 
season being somewhat advanced when the hotel was com- 
pleted, instead of leasing, as is our usual custom, by your 
instructions I placed a manager in charge. We had a good 
season, and the public seemed well pleased with the service. 

I should like to call your attention to the much-needed 
repairs on the old barn, as it is in such a condition that it 
must either be torn down or remodeled, and as we need a 
carriage shed and garage, the latter would be more economi- 
cal. The old frame is in good condition, and with a little 
expense could be made over to answer all purposes. 

I also find that a laundry is needed, and would suggest 
erecting a small two-story building in the rear of the hotel, 




with a laundry and woodshed on the first floor and sleeping 
rooms for help on the second. 

It has proved by past experience that the small pond on 
the summit would be an insufficient water supply, owing to 
the modern plumbing used in the new hotel. With your 
approval I installed a pumping plant at Echo Lake, which 
after careful consideration I feel is the most economical 
solution to a difficult problem. Through 5,000 feet of 
inch pipe good water is raised 750 feet to tanks with a 
capacity of 2,000 gallons, in the attic of the hotel. The 
outfit consists of a four horse-power gasoline engine and a 
1^4 inch triplex pump. Over this a small building w^as 
erected. A woodsaw^ is also connected with the engine, 
which is very convenient. The pump works very satis- 
factorily, and pumps 400 gallons per hour. 

A team of young horses was added to our equipment in 
the early spring, which have proved to be a paying invest- 

The work in the nursery was carried on the same as 
usual. The seedlings were transplanted and the beds re- 
seeded. Twenty-five thousand spruce and pine two-year-old 
seedlings were transplanted in unproductive pasture land. 
The small trees previously transplanted in this way are 
thriving, and I cannot lay too much stress upon the im- 
portance of this branch of our work. 

In the fall the pond on the summit was thoroughly drained 
and cleaned for the first time in many years. Tons of muck 
were carted out and used for o:radino: around the hotel. A 
cement dam was built with a 6-inch drain pipe and gate, so 
that in the future the pond can be easily drained and cleaned. 

It having been decided by the commission to open the 
mountain road to motor vehicles commencing August 1, 
during certain hours of the day, signs were placed to that 
efi'ect. The roads were widened in places and the brush was 
thinned out around the turns, enabling one to obtain an un- 
obstructed view ahead. The privilege was appreciated by 
automobilists, who seemed well satisfied with the grades and 
condition of the roads. 

The police patrol was carried on as in previous years. 


Especial vigilance was necessary during the fall, while forest 
fires were raging throughout the country, owing to the 
continued dry spell. Two automobilists were arrested for 
running their machines to the summit during hours when 
not allowed. 

Some necessary repairs were made on the icehouse in the 
fall. The sills and corner posts were renewed and the roof 

Taking No. 12, containing 25 acres, owned by Ambrose 
Weston, and a house lot of .6 of an acre owned by Flora 
Plympton, were added to the reservation. Negotiations are 
under way for Taking No. 13, containing 7.1 acres, owned 
by the heirs of John M. Saw telle. 

Respectfully submitted, 



Princeton, Mass., Jan. 1, 1909. 

Public Dociuuent No. 65 




Ja^^tjary, 1910. 


18 Post Office Squabe. 

Public Document 

No. 65 




Jaxuaky, 1910. 


18 Post Office Square. 

FEB 251910 


Approved by 
The State Board of Publication. 




Super inlendent. 
Address, Princeton, Mass. 

^ommontDealti) of iHasBacfjUBettB* 


The commission makes the following report of its doings 
and of the condition of the reservation for the year 1909 : — 

It will, of course, be realized that, under the provisions 
of the act which created it, the character of work to be done 
from year to year changes very little, and that therefore the 
report of the commission is little more than a statement of 
the superintendent of work done under his direction. 

The cost of maintaining the reservation, under the law, 
is borne by the county of Worcester, and the Board makes 
its report of expenditures to the county commissioners of 
Worcester County. 

The unexpended balance of the $5,000 appropriated by 
the Legislature in 1907, in the hands of the commission at 
the close of the year 1908, was $109. A statement is in- 
cluded in this report of the expenditure of the whole of that 
sum, which includes the statement made last year. 

It will be seen from that statement that the reservation 
has been somewhat enlarged by the expenditure of this 
money, and that the reservation now comprises all the com- 
mission thinks should be included in it. 

Out of the money provided by the county of Worcester 
the reservation has been kept in good condition ; its roads 
have been improved and some new ones constructed ; its 
foresting operations have been continued, as in the past ; 
and a great many thousands of young trees have been planted 
on the waste area of the mountain. 



The hotel at the top of the mountain, which was built at 
the expense of the county of Worcester, has proved a very 
attractive feature to the public, and has drawn more people 
to the reservation during the past year than ever before. 
The stable accommodations and the garage for the housing 
of automobiles have enabled people from a distance to secure 
accommodations which are satisfactory and appear to meet 
the approval of visitors. 

As this is an interesting portion of Worcester County, 
and is the highest land east of the Connecticut River in 
Massachusetts, it naturally attracts a great many visitors 
from all parts of the State, as well as a good manj^ from 

Attached to this report will be found the statement of the 

The following is a statement of the expenditures of the 
commission outrof the $5,000 appropriated in 1907 : — 

Appropriation, $5,000 

Paid Hobart Raymond, $2,300 00 

Paid heirs of Caleb Woodward, . . . 1,500 00 

Paid John P. Roper, 291 00 

Paid Ambrose E. Weston, . . . : 600 00 
Paid Flora Plimpton, ..... 75 00 

Paid Charles F. Baker, 84 00 

Paid Elliot Peabody, legal services, . . 150 00 

$5,000 00 



1910.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 65. 



To the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Commission. 

Gentlemen : — The work on the reservation throuo^hout 
the past year has been a continuation of the original policy. 

A tract of about five acres of red oak, which was dete- 
riorating, owing to breakage caused by ice storms, was 
cleared. Some of the lumber was used in improving and 
enlarging the barn on the summit and for other repairs. 
The rest of the logs we will cart to some near-by chair 
shop. We will restock this with white pine. 

In the spring some repairs and improvements were com- 
pleted on the summit. The old barn was torn down and 
the cellar filled and graded. This makes a level spot for a 
croquet ground for the amusement of guests. The other 
barn was extensively repaired and enlarged, and a good- 
sized garage was added to it. The outbuildings were 
painted. Quite a little filling in and grading were done 
about the hotel, and an attractive guard wall was built. 
All this added much to the attractiveness of the summit. 
By trimming out a line and setting poles, we were able to 
place a New England long-distance telephone at the Sum- 
mit House. 

About seventeen thousand pine seedlings were trans- 
planted in various sections of the reservation. I am sorry 
to report that, owing to the very dry weather through the 
summer, the young transplants have not thrived as well as 
in the past, especially in the dry and sandy soils. 

The hotel was leased for the season to Mr. Charles Horne 
and was run in a very satisfactory manner. A large increase 
in the attendance at the summit has been noticed. This, I 
think, is owing to the new hotel and the opening of the 
road to automobiles. I am pleased to report that, although 


at the least a thousand machines were run to the summit 
through the season, not one accident was reported. I think 
this shows that with due care an accident is entirely un- 

The work on the Administration Road, which was discon- 
tinued two years ago in order to build the new Summit 
House, was resumed. This road starts at the South Road 
and runs through the center of the reservation, a distance 
of about 8,400 feet, to the North Road, and makes a good 
addition to the roads on the reservation. This will be com- 
pleted in the spring. 

The driveway over Echo Lake dam was widened, and a 
rough wall and fence built on the inner side, making it safe 
for teams to pass each other. 

I am sorry to report that three large fox hounds broke 
into the deer park, and, before they could be shot, had 
killed one buck deer and injured two others so they had to 
be shot. 

Taking No. 13, containing 7.1 acres, owned by Charles F. 
Baker, Avas added to the reservation. 

Respectfully submitted, 



Princeton, Mass., Jan. 1, 1910. 

Public Document 

No. 65 



Wachusett mountain 
state reservation commission. 

January, 1911. 


18 Post Oftice Square. 

Public Document 

No. 65 




Jaxuary, 1911. 


18 Post Office Square. 
. 1911. 

FEB 24 lyil 


Approved by 
The State Board of Publication. 






Address, Princeton, Mass. 



The commissioners beg to report that the appropriation 
made l)y the county to cover the cost of maintenance, re- 
pairs, etc., of the reservation for the year liHO, was $8,000. 

It was possible to apply the larger portion of this appro- 
priation to the improvement of the reservation lands, the 
expenditures on the hotel during the previous tliree years 
having interfered with this work. These expenditures had 
been made necessary, as already reported, owing to the 
dilapidated condition of the buildings, which would have 
become practically useless had not these expenses been in- 

During the year 1910 Administration Road was com- 
pleted. — which is 8,400 feet in length, and is now in good 
condition for horse-drawn vehicles and automobiles, — and 
a large amount of work in reforesting was done. These 
improvements are more fully referred to in the superintend- 
ent's report, which is annexed hereto. 

The commissioners desire to say that out of the ^8,000 
received fi*om the county in 1910 it was necessary to expend 
$2,000 in building the annex to the hotel, thus reducing the 
amount available for ordinary care. 

In this connection it would be appropriate for your com- 
missioners to quote an extract from the report of 1909, 
referring to the amount which has been expended out of the 
county appropriations for the years 1907, 1908 and 1909, 
amounting, approximately, to $12,000: — 


Your commissioners desire in this report to repeat the statement in 
their report covering the year 1907, — that in their opinion the expen- 
diture for remodelling the hotel at the summit is a proper one for the 
State to bear, it being, in fact, a part of the reservation, and conse- 
quently included in the property of the State, in which the count}' has 
no title. The meaning and intent of the act establishing the reserva- 
tion was that the State should purchase the property and the county 
should maintain the same. The hotel at the time of purchase was in a 
state of practical debilitation, and if it had been allowed to remain in 
that condition it would to-day have been practically worthless. It 
therefore does not seem proper to your commissioners that under these 
conditions the county should be required to remodel and make habita- 
ble the property of the State. 

Had the commissioners been in a position to apply this 
amount to the improvement of the reservation, it would have 
been in a very much better condition to-da}^, as regards pro- 
tection from fire, as well as convenience to the public in 
visiting the various interesting spots within its borders. 

The reservation has gained largelv in popularity during 
the year covered by this report, an increase in visitors, in- 
cluding automobilists, having been very noticeable; and 
there is no doubt that the reservation is becoming more and 
more popular as a resort as time goes on and the improve- 
ments become known to the residents of the State. 

Jan. 1, 1911. 


Commissione rs . 





To the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Commissioii. 

Gextlemex : — I am pleased to report that the various 
plans decided upon as the best policy in the management of 
the reservation have progressed in a most satisfactory 

The Administration Koad is now open to the public and 
makes a beautiful drive. One can now start at the South 
Road, and, by following the Administration, North and 
Mountain roads, have a delightful four-mile drive to the 
summit, through the heart of the reservation. The main 
feature in this system of roads is the great advantage in case 
of fire, and I would advise adding others to it. I had 
hoped we might be able to build a macadam road to the 
summit, but as this now seems impossible, owing to the 
expense, I would advise extensive repairs. There is a 
gi-avel pit on the North Road a mile and a half from the 
summit, and with this we could put the Mountain Road in 
first-class condition. As we have about six miles of road on 
the reservation now, it is quite an item to keep them in 
repair, as they consist mostly of steep grades. 

The Annex was started early in the spring and completed 
in time to be used through the summer. This is an attrac- 
tive and a much-needed addition to the Summit House. It 
contains nine chambers, a pool room, laundry and wood 
shed. The frames, sidings, roof and under floors were built 
from lumber cut on the reservation. With this addition to 
the Summit House we noAv have quite a modern hotel, 
capable of accommodating about thirtj^-five guests. Run 
under your supervision during the past season, a general 
satisfaction seemed to prevail among the patrons. 

The furniture is old, but we may be able to add a little to 
it each jear. The one bad feature about making the hotel 
a paying investment is the difficulty in transportation to the 


summit. As it is three miles to the nearest electrics and 
eight to the nearest steam line, one can imagine the dis- 
advantage. A two-mile addition to the electric road would 
remove this difficulty to a large extent. 

A five-acre piece of worn-out mowing was seeded down, 
and a good crop saved the necessity of buying hay, as in the 
past. There are about forty acres of mowing on the reser- 
vation that I hope, in time, to treat in this manner. 

Twenty-three thousand white pine seedlings were trans- 
planted in different sections of the reservation and are doing 
well. These were all grown in our nurserj . 

A much-needed addition was made to the barn at head- 
quarters, and quite a little repairing done to the buildings 
on the reservation. 

The police patrol was carried on in the usual manner. 

Respectfully submitted, 



Princeton, Mass., Jan. 1, 1911. 

m 2